Forth Valley College launches consultation on restructure plans to ensure its financial stability

Forth Valley College has announced a comprehensive transformation plan to ensure its financial stability, achieve its 2030 vision and deliver the best possible learning experiences for its students.

By Fiona Dobie
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 4:57 pm
Updated Monday, 16th May 2022, 6:16 pm

A 30 day consultation has been launched this week on key measures including the withdrawal of the college’s presence at the Raploch Community Campus in Stirling; the reshaping of four teaching departments into three while retaining the overall curriculum delivery; the scaling down of refectory services at its Alloa campus and restructuring of a number of corporate services teams.

A college wide Voluntary Severance Scheme, which was previously launched in February, is also being relaunched.

The college says the plan, which is in line with the newly approved Strategic Plan for 2022-25, reflects the changing external environment following the Covid-19 pandemic and the challenging financial environment facing further education in Scotland.

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Details of the college's transformation plan have been revealed this week.

Bosses say substantial savings need to be made to protect the college’s financial security and ensure the organisation is viable, financially sustainable and can continue to deliver for students and stakeholders.

It comes following the reduction in the college sector’s core funding allocation from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and the impact on the economy of Brexit and recovery from the pandemic.

Professor Ken Thomson, principal of Forth Valley College, said: “This has not been an easy decision, particularly as we have all gone above and beyond throughout the pandemic.

"My senior management team have been working through a number of scenarios since late last year based on SFC assumptions, so we do have an evidence based position to support our decision making to ensure our financial security.

“As an organisation at the forefront of the regional economic recovery, we have to reform, reshape and rebuild our current delivery model.

"We must also focus on core business activities to reduce operational costs which includes stopping, reducing or doing differently, our current level of specific servcies to make the required savings.

"We need to continually evolve to ensure we are delivering the right learning in the right place at the right time under our mission for ‘Making Learning Work’.

“We have a clear strategic vision for 2030, a new Strategic Plan for 2022-25 and a developing role as a lead anchor institution in social and economic recovery following the pandemic.

"We recognise that any change can be challenging and there will be concerns over the impact this may have on individuals.

"However, we are committed to managing this process in consultation with staff, with an aim to support the security and long-term future for Forth Valley College.

"We will support our colleagues throughout this difficult time.”

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Staff have received a consultation paper providing further details on the background to any decision making and plans for the future, and a series of Principal’s Briefings taking place.

Staff have also been offered support and advice should they need more information.

Bosses say the restructuring and transformation may allow for some staff to be offered alternative roles within the organisation, however there may be a small number where alternative employment is not available – this is understood to be currently less than four posts.

All staff directly impacted by the consultation have been informed and plans are in place to offer a further period of time for staff to apply for vacancies or voluntary severance.