Mon, 28/05/2012 - 00:22

250 people marched through Hackney on Saturday against the threat of 55 redundancies at Hackney College. Although there have been redundancies every year bar one for ten years, this year the proposed cuts are much more serious.
In a borough with 11, 243 people claiming JSA chasing just 669 jobs in the jobcentre, courses that may be closed include basic literacy, basic maths and health and social care. All the courses in the Access department are at risk even though Access to Nursing, for example, is already full with more than a hundred people on the waiting list. 
Many people will have no second chance at education - some departments have students already waiting for more than a year for places and hundreds of students turned away at enrollment. There are not places available for all these people in other colleges, who are also facing cuts. At the same time our students come and tell us they are bullied in the jobcentre and have to miss classes to attend constant interviews, where they are criticised for not having the right skills. We are afraid that our students are being written off; as there is currently no labour shortage the government sees no need for them to have further education.
Shouting out their rejection of the plans, teachers, students and support staff from the college were joined by many NUT schoolteachers from Hackney. The march was cheered by passersby all along the route, with people waving and shouting from flat windows and the top decks of buses. FE teachers from all over London came with their banners and spoke of the attack on FE that is happening everywhere, and offered their support to the struggle at Hackney College.