Plymouth principal Phillips quits

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UNDER-FIRE City College Plymouth (CCP) principal Garry Phillips resigned yesterday after a damning report earlier this month exposed serious leadership failings at his previous college, Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College, which is now in administered status.

Under his leadership it went from a £5.7m surplus in 2015/16 to an £8m deficit in 2016/17. Despite this, Phillips received a 31% pay rise in 2016/17 making him the fifth highest paid principal in the country.

UCU regional official Philippa Davey said: ‘Following Phillips’ departure, it is time to halt his redundancy plans and for the governors to work with us to move forwards. It is frustrating that staff were forced to deliver such a damning no confidence vote in Phillips and the governors for action to be taken.’

Meanwhile, UCU and Labour have called for urgent action on ‘back-door cuts’ to colleges and universities after it was revealed that a potential pensions funding shortfall could see further and higher education hit with a £300m bill. Schools minister Nick Gibb estimated that the additional cost to cover pension benefits from 2020 would be £142m for colleges and another £142m for universities.

Labour’s Angela Rayner said: ‘In the Budget, the Chancellor insulted schools with his offer of “little extras” but he didn’t even offer that to further education colleges struggling to stay afloat.  ‘If they are left to pick up the bill for this Treasury shortfall, further cuts taking hundreds of millions of pounds out of college and university budgets will have a hugely damaging impact on students. ‘That is why Labour is demanding that the Chancellor ends all cuts to education funding and guarantees that college and university budgets will be protected from these projected cuts.’