Compulsory redundancies loom as Writtle battles funding crisis

Writtle College in Essex will be forced to make 18 compulsory redundancies after failing to resolve its funding difficulties through voluntary departures.

Writtle appointed KPMG to cut £1.5m from its spending (HW, 19 March) after a strategic options review commissioned jointly by Writtle and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

A source said 11.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) posts had gone through voluntary redundancy, with up to 29 FTEs from non-renewal of fixed-term contracts, retirements and reductions in hours.

Writtle confirmed that 18.15 FTEs will be selected from 74 post holders who are currently identified as at risk, drawn from across academic and support staff.

College principal Professor David Butcher said: "Writtle is responding to the recent unprecedented reduction in Government funding. The percentage of college income spent on staff costs is one of the very highest in the sector. This is a key measure of efficiency used by the HEFCE.

"The college proposed measures to staff on how to secure these savings and entered into an intensive period of collective consultation on how it might be achieved. Simultaneously, a voluntary redundancy scheme was launched.

"Now, with the greatest of regret, the college has moved to a compulsory redundancy phase. The priority is to ensure sustainable independence and to continue to deliver an excellent student experience."

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