On 29 June, around 400 education workers, parents and supporters marched through Stourbridge to protest against the looming closure of the town's further education college.
Part of the Birmingham Metro-politan group of colleges, senior management hope to save £2.5 million a year out of a total £58.5 million turnover by closing the college. That's despite having spent £5 million on refurbishing the campus just four years ago!
1,000 students have been told they can transfer to nearby colleges in Dudley and Halesowen. However, with several students having to travel from as far away as Worcester, this won't be practical for all. And that's not to mention what will happen to the 200 staff employed at the Stourbridge site!
Since 2009, college funding has been cut by 30% nationally. College heads who want to make 'inspiration', 'achievement' and 'learning' more than empty buzzwords above the front door, should set budgets with the resources needed to deliver quality education by decently paid staff, and work with the education unions to campaign for proper funding for further education from central government.