A consultation with staff at Rotherham College’s Dinnington Campus has started as part of wider plans to develop new curriculum and facilities at other sites.
The RNN Group is planning to close the campus this summer and relocate courses, and the majority of staff currently based there, to its three other main college sites – Rotherham College’s Town Centre Campus, North Notts College and Dearne Valley College.
The proposal follows a review of the Group’s entire estate, which aims to put the organisation on a strong financial footing and release funding from the sale of land and property. This would be re-invested in students’ education, by developing curriculum at Rotherham College, North Notts College and Dearne Valley College.
Jason Austin, Chief Executive Officer and Principal, RNN Group, said: “We understand the affection for Dinnington Campus and regret that we are putting jobs at risk. However, further savings need to be made to ensure that RNN Group is on a secure and sustainable footing and well-positioned to provide high-quality education and technical training to the students, communities and businesses that it serves.”
He added: “The proposal to close Dinnington Campus is part of a wider review of our estate, which involves plans for new curriculum and improved facilities at our other main college sites. Courses, and the majority of our staff, based at Dinnington would move to those sites.”
A 45-day consultation process with staff and the recognised trade unions began on January 29th and will continue until March 15th. The consultation affects 122 staff in total and the full-time equivalent of 96 jobs. It outlines the relocation of 56 full-time equivalent jobs to other college sites. The number of proposed job losses is equivalent to 40 full-time equivalent roles.
There are currently approximately 575 learners studying 38 courses this academic year at Dinnington Campus, on Doe Quarry Lane, Dinnington, which is part of Rotherham College. All courses are continuing as planned for this academic year 2019/20.
The majority of current students, 480, are completing one or two-year courses or apprenticeships, which finish this summer. Around 55 full-time students and apprentices are due to progress to the next academic year 2020/21 at Dinnington Campus. Another 40 students are studying short courses.
Courses based at Dinnington Campus would continue and move to Rotherham College’s Town Centre Campus, North Notts College and Dearne Valley College, which are not part of the staff consultation.
Applications for 2020/21 for Dinnington Campus are still being accepted. Applicants would be supported with the relocation of their course to another main college site within the Group in the event of campus closure this summer.
Staff were previously advised of the campus closure proposal last year during meetings in October 2019. A review of the RNN Group estate has found that the Dinnington Campus building is under-utilised – 30% of the site is mothballed, which is costly to maintain.
Curriculum currently offered there includes animal care and management, construction, countryside management and horticulture, foundation learning, health science, motor vehicle and access to higher education courses.
The RNN Group has more than 1,000 staff who educate and train around 12,000 learners a year including approximately 2,000 apprentices, mainly in South Yorkshire and North Nottinghamshire.
The governing body will confirm its final decision on the future of Dinnington Campus once the staff consultation process has concluded in March. If approved, the campus would close in July 2020.