Falkirk students angry as courses are axed

Some students are upset at the axing of courses
Some students are upset at the axing of courses

Exam courses have been axed at Forth Valley College.

From August it will no longer offer students the chance to sit Highers.

College chiefs said it was to cut back on duplication of courses offered in high schools, but those no longer attending secondaries believe they are being penalised.

The Scottish government is cutting the budgets of Scotland’s further education colleges by 13.5 per cent over the next three years. Jobs have already been lost – 62 redundancies at Forth Valley last year, 20 of them compulsory – and there are fears the decision to end Highers is the latest cost-cutting move.

The college, which has campuses in Falkirk, Stirling and Alloa, has already axed its modern languages department.

One mum said her daughter is halfway through sitting Highers over two years and has been told there won’t be a course next session.

She said: “The tutor told her to apply to colleges in Glasgow or Edinburgh because there was nowhere locally she could sit them. She had hoped that getting Highers would allow her to go on and study further, but all those plans are now up in the air.”

College principal Linda McKay said: “We continually review our provision in line with local and national priorities and to respond to changing patterns of demand. As a result of our annual portfolio review, the one year Highers programme was identified as an area in which many of the courses are offered in local secondary schools and we are keen to ensure that we avoid duplication.

“After taking the decision, we have offered prospective students alternative arrangements which we hoped would allow them to acquire the necessary qualifications for progression to employment, further study or a university place and I’m delighted a number of them have taken up these opportunities.”