Adult College will not close, bosses say

The Adult College.
The Adult College.

Council bosses have spoken out to allay fears that Lancaster’s Adult College is to close.

The Guardian was told by a source who wishes to remain anonymous that staff had been told the college, based at White Cross, was to close, with staff either being moved to other college sites or being offered redundancy.

Among the plans, the source said, were the leasing out of part of the building for private use.

However, a spokesman for Lancashire County Council, which operates the further education college, said there are no plans to shut the building.

But they admit that changes are going to be made in a bid to meet Ofsted recommendations.

Eddie Sutton, director of development and corporate services at Lancashire County Council, said: “We are working hard to respond to recommendations made by Ofsted and the Further Education Commissioner at the end of last year to improve the Lancashire Adult Learning service and have already introduced new leadership arrangements to take this forward.

“We are currently consulting on a new staffing structure and providing support to staff who may be affected.

“We understand that staff and learners are concerned at what this may mean for the future, but would like to reassure them that many existing courses will continue, and we have no plans to close buildings which are currently used to deliver courses.

“We are currently considering a single location for the future ‘head office’ of the college but this will not reduce the venues in which our courses are delivered.

“In fact, we plan to further extend the reach of our courses into local communities.

“We remain committed to delivering high quality adult and community learning across the county and are looking forward to a busy period as we publish our new course programme for September and encourage people to sign up and learn something new.”

The Lancashire Adult Learning staff employs around 85 FTE teaching staff across the service who are not based at any one location.

Around 25 full-time administrative and premises management staff are based at Lancaster.

The Adult College was established in 1975 and is based in a former linoleum factory, converted for use in 1990.

It offers a broad range of courses catering for a diverse range of needs and interests across the region from Wyre, Preston and Fylde to Lancaster and Morecambe.