Shropshire college plans to close three campuses
Three college sites could close as part of widespread cuts. North Shropshire College is considering closing its campuses in Wem, Shipley and Tenbury Wells.
It has launched a consultation over the proposals, which interim principal Ian Peake said were due to “economic reasons”.
He said the centres had low numbers and efforts were being made to ensure affected students continued their education. Courses would be focused on the Oswestry and Walford sites instead.
The college site in Bridgnorth Road, Shipley, specialises in animal care.
Maths, English and IT courses are offered at the site in High Street, Wem, and the Tenbury Wells site specialises in engineering.
Mr Peake said: “This proposed change will enable the college to focus its investments at its two main campuses, at Oswestry and Walford, and improve its financial position by closing uneconomic centres that provide few courses for very small numbers of students. The consultation with the staff will seek their views, and endeavour to minimise the impact of these proposals on individual colleagues.”
He added that transport would be laid on to get students to the consolidated centres.
Students dismayed over plans
Students at the Shipley site released a statement speaking of their dismay, saying: "Our college is proposing to close our campus and us the students here at North Shropshire College Shipley campus are are trying to gather all the help we can get to stop this from happening. Not only are we losing our college but we are also losing our amazing members of staff who have been here for us from the start.
"We are also having to let go of the animals that we have created a amazing bond with and love as much as you love your pets at home. Most of them are old and this is the only home they have known.
"We are worried that they aren't going to cope with this change. All of us at Shipley are like a big family. Many of the students would struggle to adjust to moving to a much bigger college like Walford, for several reasons. An extra two hours would be spent travelling back and forth from home to college and many of the students cannot afford the travel costs as well as varying disabilities which means that a large campus simply isn't suited to our needs.
"Shipley campus is a small, nurturing college that caters for everyone’s individual needs. However we are being told that we are not a diverse college, which we are, therefore they are closing us down.
"Some of us would not be in further education if it wasn’t for this college. For many of us this has been the best years of our education as we struggled in our school environment."
In December the college agreed to seek a merger with Herefordshire and Ludlow College to “maximise opportunities of being a major regional educational provider”.