Adult college courses cut
AN ADULT computer course which has helped almost 8,000 Suffolk students in just three years has been axed - to concentrate funding on other “priorities”.
AN ADULT computer course which has helped almost 8,000 Suffolk students in just three years has been axed – to concentrate funding on other “priorities”.
The programmes, run by West Suffolk College from its sites in Haverhill and Mildenhall, has proved massively popular since its introduction.
But college chiefs said they would not be able to accept any new enrolments from today following changes in government funding policies.
The decision also puts the future of 13 college staff into doubt – although bosses have said they would be offered alternative employment where possible.
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College principal Ann Williams said: “We are doing all that we can in order to protect provision as we value every student in the west Suffolk community.”
The college has been forced to cut the classes, run in partnership with Tektra, after government policy urged funding should be concentrated on other priorities - including courses for 16 to18-year-olds and provision for adults working towards numeracy and communication qualifications.
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Existing learners enrolled on the Tektra computing courses at the two centres will be supported until they have completed their programmes.
Nick Foster, executive director of the Learning and Skills Council for Suffolk, said: “It is important that the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) focuses resources where they are most needed.
“The further education colleges in Suffolk have been very successful in recruiting more 16-18 year olds which is positive news. It does, however, put certain pressures on adult funding which mean that it is particularly important for us to channel our resources effectively.
“Over the next two years the focus for our adult funding will therefore be longer, qualification-based courses that improve employability, rather than short courses which do not ultimately lead to a qualification.”