Harrogate College

Harrogate College proposes cuts to special needs provision

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Harrogate College has proposed making cuts to special needs provision, which would reduce staffing and pay by around a third

Unison have said that the changes would reduce the support available for students with special educational needs and disabilities, but the college has said that the new structure will give students more consistent support and staff more time to be effective in their support of students.

A spokesperson for Leeds Unison said: 

These proposals would see jobs cut by about a third from 8.95 full-time equivalent posts to just 6.3

The hourly rate of pay for Learning Support Assistant posts would be cut by about one third too. The proposals affect staff who are all female and primarily older.

Harrogate College (part of Luminate Education Group), which educates students from Harrogate, Ripon and Leeds, is currently consulting trade unions and staff on the proposals.

All the Recognised Trade Unions (UNISON, GMB, UCU and NEU) are concerned that these cuts would have a devastating impact on the support provided to students with special educational needs and disabilities.

It is well known that students have suffered much during the lockdowns. The recognised trade unions believe students need more support from staff in future not less.

These proposed cuts would affect provision to some of the most vulnerable students. We also believe staff should be paid adequately for the vital service they provide. The recognised trade unions are urging the college to rethink their proposals.



Statement from Danny Wild, Principal at Harrogate College

Harrogate College is dedicated to delivering the highest quality education, with the restructure focusing on enhancing the support for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) students.

The new structure will give students more consistent support and staff more time to be effective in their support of students. Impacted staff have been given the opportunity to apply for these new roles.

Equality and diversity is at the heart of Harrogate College’s ethos and takes discrimination seriously. The college is a member of Luminate Education Group, which employs over 2,000 staff across its further education colleges, of which 62% are female and in the highest paid jobs.


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