Mustafa Turus London 0

​Put Students First: Build Inclusive Learning Support NOT cut

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We the undersigned are shocked and very concerned about the decision by Candi management to cut the inclusive learning department. The proposals will lead to:

  • Less ALS staff
  • Less managers covering wider cross college duties
  • More unqualified staff taking up the teaching duties of deleted ALS staff posts

The decision to cut the support of some of the most vulnerable students in the college seems a callous one. There has been a sharp increase in mental health issues amongst our students in the past three years as well as more students on Educational Health Care Plans. It is a poor decision that clearly does not start from the needs of our students.

Every department when asked what is the one thing they need more of they would answer - more in class and one to one support delivered by trained and qualified tutors. Every department knows the value of ALS and LSA staff. Not only because of the pastoral care they provide but also the role they play in ensuring our students gain the qualifications they desire through teaching and providing vital exam access arrangements specific to student's needs.

It is LSA/ALS staff that have on numerous occasions made the difference between students passing their qualifications or not.

This restructure will reduce the amount of ALS staff and replace them with LSAs. ALS staff are qualified teachers on a teaching contract, whilst LSAs are on a business supports contracts. The LSAs new contract not only adds more teaching duties into their roles but also cuts their wages by reducing the number of weeks they are required to work.

Candi has a long history of providing outstanding inclusive learning support to our students. Six years ago there were 14 FTE ALS posts at CBAT alone. Today there are 3FTEs with a much larger cohort of students who need support.

It was not that long ago the SMT use to boast about how the college spent more on this provision compared to any other college in London. This was when Ofsted rated us as an outstanding college. The SMT used to produce figures that showed that the LSA/ALS support added 14% to the college achievements rates.

For these reasons and more we call upon management to rethink their proposals.

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