Funding scandal college to shed staff

March 12, 1999

Halton College will have to shed a third of its staff following investigations into financial irregularities by the Further Education Funding Council.

The board of governors confirmed this week that it would declare 147 "potential redundancies" with a further 30 job losses through "natural wastage".

The Cheshire college is already facing the clawback of "several million pounds" by the FEFC, which is due to report findings of its much-delayed investigation into alleged misuse of public funds at the college next month.

The college is accused of making false claims for course funding, contravening financial guidelines to purchase IT equipment, and misusing public money to set up a private company. Principal Martin Jenkins and his deputy Jenny Dolphin, who deny allegations, remain suspended on full pay.

Acting principal John Bolton said the redundancies were not directly linked to the investigation, but to a change in government policy. The government has clamped down on franchised provision outside colleges' immediate localities. The provision comprises 65 per cent of college income. Funding for this work will be cut by a third.

Tony Thompson, officer for the Professional Association of Teachers, said the redundancies must be linked to the investigation.

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