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Ipswich: Students with learning difficulties have classes cut and 13 jobs under threat at One sixth form

PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 March 2014

One, in Ipswich, has revealed plans to cut foundation learning courses from five days a week to three. The move, to take effect in September, puts the positions of up to 13 full-time members of staff at risk, One principal Alan Whittaker admitted.

One, in Ipswich, has revealed plans to cut foundation learning courses from five days a week to three. The move, to take effect in September, puts the positions of up to 13 full-time members of staff at risk, One principal Alan Whittaker admitted.

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Students with learning difficulties will see their teaching time cut by almost a half and up to 13 full-time staff members could lose their job at a Suffolk sixth form.

One, in Ipswich, which was formerly known as Suffolk One, has revealed plans to cut foundation learning courses, designed for students with “profound through to moderate learning difficulties”, from five days a week to three.

The move, to take effect in September, puts the positions of up to 13 full-time members of staff “at risk”, One principal Alan Whittaker admitted.

However, he defended the decision by claiming the college will now match other post-16 colleges in providing foundation learning over three days.

He said: “Since opening in September 2010, we have been the only post-16 provider in Suffolk to offer foundation learning courses over five days a week.

“This has proved unsustainable as a business model and is not educationally appropriate for this group of students.

“Therefore, as from the start of the next academic year, this provision will be reduced to a three-day offer.”

He added: “Naturally we would like to assure all those involved that we will be supporting them during this process and will be doing all we can to ensure that lessons and college life is not disrupted during this period.”

A spokesman for the Scrivener Drive college said despite the change, no foundation learning courses would be removed from the syllabus.

They include independence skills, performing arts, personal and social development and employability. Other subjects include science, media and food studies. The move will affect all 11 foundation learning courses.

Mr Whittaker added: “I remain fully confident that the standard of provision for foundation learning students will continue to result in excellent student outcomes.”

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