Anger over plans to axe courses at Sussex college

Brinsbury College, Pulborough SUS-190313-115237001
Brinsbury College, Pulborough SUS-190313-115237001

Anger has erupted over plans to axe courses at a Sussex college in a bid to save cash.

Brinsbury Campus - part of Chichester College based near Pulborough - says its motor vehicle courses will cease at the end of the academic year.

But the move has upset members of Billingshurst Parish Council who say there has been ‘little or no consultation’ with students and parents.

Brinsbury says that most of its motor vehicle students are on one-year courses and will be able to finish them as expected.

But, it says, students will also have an option to progress onto further motor vehicles courses at either Chichester or Crawley colleges.

However, Billingshurst Parish Council has written to Horsham MP Jeremy Quin, Horsham District Council, and all neighbouring parish councils outlining its concern.

The council says transferring students to Chichester or Crawley would have a ‘detrimental effect on learning’ and would cause travel problems and ‘general disruption.’

A college spokesperson said: “We have made the difficult decision to close the motor vehicle courses at Brinsbury in June, at the end of this academic year, due to funding pressures.

“Funding for further education colleges has reduced by 30 per cent in real terms since 2011, and we constantly have to review our costs to ensure we continue achieving financial stability.

“A formal consultation with students and staff was completed before any decision was made.

“The courses will close at the end of the academic year, so all students will be able to complete their year of study. For the small number of students on two year courses, we will arrange for students to transfer to Chichester or Crawley to complete their studies and, having reviewed transport options, will be able to assist with travel costs where necessary.

“Students are at the heart of our college group. We have significantly better motor vehicle facilities at Crawley and Chichester and we believe those students transferring will benefit from them.”