Mystery letter urges opposition to merger involving Worcester College of Technology

Worcester News: Worcester College of Technology Worcester College of Technology

A CONTROVERSIAL college merger would be “a coming together of equals” rather than a takeover says the principal.

However, opponents have urged those with a stake in Worcester College of Technology to oppose the move at a key meeting today.

A proposal has been made to dissolve the Corporation of Worcester College of Technology and hand over its property, rights and liabilities to Corporation of Worcestershire College – the proposed new name of North East Worcestershire College.

The move has led to concerns by some, expressed anonymously, about the future of the college in the city’s Deansway.

We have already reported the concerns by one member of staff about the relocation of business support staff to Redditch, and now an anonymous letter has been handed in under the title “Save Worcester College of Technology”.

The letter urges people to take a stand at tonight’s meeting.

The college proposes to dissolve its corporation on August 1.

The Corporation of North East Worcestershire College is separately proposing to the Secretary of State to change its name to Worcestershire College, the same day.

Students midway through their courses would complete their studies at Worcestershire College.

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Stuart Laverick, principal of Worcester College of Technology, said: “The proposed merger will provide greater choice to help raise aspirations and significantly improve employability prospects.

“Both organisations are comparable and financially sound in their own right. The proposed merger is a coming together of equals, to share expertise and to complement strengths.

“There are no plans to alter the location of any courses for the 2014-2015 academic year. The merger will provide an opportunity to share specialist facilities to improve learner experience.”

The proposal is subject to consultation until Thursday, April 17.

The anonymous letter handed in to the Worcester News read: “Staff morale is very low.

“Information given has been sketchy and staff are in the dark about their future.

“We need to inform the public as to what the future holds for our students, or will they have to travel to Redditch?

“If WCT is dissolved, Worcester will be left without an identifiable college and will be governed by a college in Redditch.

“Why can’t we be the hub and not Redditch?”

The meeting is at 6.30pm in The View, All Saints’ Building, Deansway.

Comments (6)

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10:00am Mon 31 Mar 14

captainsmith says...

Polly was my relative and I recently stood "deja vu" in her shoes. Polly loved a drink and to gamble, perhaps that's why she was never rich. Polly was born in 1896 and left school at 12. She became a servant in 1908. She loved the family she worked for, and became part of their close household. In 1912, her employers wanted to take her on a voyage to America to see their property in New York state. Polly was 16 by now and was excited at the prospect of going to America and finding prosperity.

However, Polly's mother was not pleased as she was her only daughter. So, Polly was made to stay behind.

Polly went to wave her employers off on their huge adventurous journey. She stood waving and tearful, as the Titanic sailed away.

(A symbolic but true story)
Polly was my relative and I recently stood "deja vu" in her shoes. Polly loved a drink and to gamble, perhaps that's why she was never rich. Polly was born in 1896 and left school at 12. She became a servant in 1908. She loved the family she worked for, and became part of their close household. In 1912, her employers wanted to take her on a voyage to America to see their property in New York state. Polly was 16 by now and was excited at the prospect of going to America and finding prosperity. However, Polly's mother was not pleased as she was her only daughter. So, Polly was made to stay behind. Polly went to wave her employers off on their huge adventurous journey. She stood waving and tearful, as the Titanic sailed away. (A symbolic but true story) captainsmith
  • Score: -5

10:56am Mon 31 Mar 14

BelieveinWorcester says...

This is disturbing news. I am proud of the College in this city. I would hate for Worcester to lose it's community college. Redditch and Worcester are very different places. How is this going to work? I don't like the name Worcestershire College either. How long before it is shortened to W.C?
This is disturbing news. I am proud of the College in this city. I would hate for Worcester to lose it's community college. Redditch and Worcester are very different places. How is this going to work? I don't like the name Worcestershire College either. How long before it is shortened to W.C? BelieveinWorcester
  • Score: 31

11:28am Mon 31 Mar 14

AngryBird14 says...

It is with great concern that I read about this proposed merger, with plans for my son to attend Worcester in Sep 14. No mention of the changes to the college was mentioned when he was interviewed. The Principal is stating there are no plans to alter the location of any courses for 14-15, but is making no guarantees for the future?? Travel to Redditch by public transport is very difficult. If the college is financially sound why is a merger taking place? Worcester College of Technology has always been a community college and moving its base to Redditch seems to be a very strange decision? Worcester is the county town which seems the logical base for Worcestershire College ?!?! I will look forward to the meeting for this and many other questions to be answered !
It is with great concern that I read about this proposed merger, with plans for my son to attend Worcester in Sep 14. No mention of the changes to the college was mentioned when he was interviewed. The Principal is stating there are no plans to alter the location of any courses for 14-15, but is making no guarantees for the future?? Travel to Redditch by public transport is very difficult. If the college is financially sound why is a merger taking place? Worcester College of Technology has always been a community college and moving its base to Redditch seems to be a very strange decision? Worcester is the county town which seems the logical base for Worcestershire College ?!?! I will look forward to the meeting for this and many other questions to be answered ! AngryBird14
  • Score: 28

12:04pm Mon 31 Mar 14

captainsmith says...

In a 2009 OFSTED inspection, the college was rated "Good with outstanding features." It was rated as the 14th best FE college in England.

The leadership changed and the management and many established and talented staff were "hollowed out" in a re-structuring exercise, in 2012 soon after the arrival of the current principal. The subsequent outcome was a "satisfactory" rating by OFSTED in a later inspection.

There have been lecturing staff redundancies, voluntary and compulsory, courses closed, and staff are feeling increasingly demoralised and insecure with fractional and part-time fixed-term contracts being invoked.

Heaven knows what looms at the WCT site after 2014/15.
In a 2009 OFSTED inspection, the college was rated "Good with outstanding features." It was rated as the 14th best FE college in England. The leadership changed and the management and many established and talented staff were "hollowed out" in a re-structuring exercise, in 2012 soon after the arrival of the current principal. The subsequent outcome was a "satisfactory" rating by OFSTED in a later inspection. There have been lecturing staff redundancies, voluntary and compulsory, courses closed, and staff are feeling increasingly demoralised and insecure with fractional and part-time fixed-term contracts being invoked. Heaven knows what looms at the WCT site after 2014/15. captainsmith
  • Score: 29

1:26pm Wed 2 Apr 14

BattenhallT says...

Yet another large employer potentially gone from Worcester - it will soon be a ghost town with most of the population commuting out each weekday. Not to mention, how are 16 and 17 year olds (and some younger on some courses) going to get to Redditch to attend courses when the public transport is so apalling? Worcester is the principle city in the county and so should be the location that retains the campus.
Yet another large employer potentially gone from Worcester - it will soon be a ghost town with most of the population commuting out each weekday. Not to mention, how are 16 and 17 year olds (and some younger on some courses) going to get to Redditch to attend courses when the public transport is so apalling? Worcester is the principle city in the county and so should be the location that retains the campus. BattenhallT
  • Score: 3

7:30pm Wed 2 Apr 14

Mrs Barlow says...

Really concerned that this further education facility in Worcester will disappear if this goes ahead. How are young students going to get to Redditch or Bromsgrove as public transport is almost non existent. This will reduce the options available to the younger generation and obviously that will have a negative impact on Worcester having a well educated and trained population.
Really concerned that this further education facility in Worcester will disappear if this goes ahead. How are young students going to get to Redditch or Bromsgrove as public transport is almost non existent. This will reduce the options available to the younger generation and obviously that will have a negative impact on Worcester having a well educated and trained population. Mrs Barlow
  • Score: 1

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