Anger over decision to close Central Sussex College campuses

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SUS-160413-120743001

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The news Central Sussex College is to close two of its campuses has been greeted with anger.

Financial problems have led to college leaders announcing the closure of the Haywards Heath campus in 2017 and the East Grinstead campus this September.

Parents, students and others have taken to social media to share their anger and disappointment at the decision.

Speaking about the Haywards Heath campus, Heather Brox Salisbury wrote: “My son is due to start here in September. So what now? They haven’t even contacted us or warned us of this. I am disgusted.”

Tawnya Hargrove added: “I attended this college, as well as many friends, now my sister and I was hoping my children would. How sad.

“At least plans are in place for it to become a school for younger ones, with all the development in Haywards Heath, this will become very needed.”

The fact the Haywards Heath campus underwent a £30million rebuild between 2011 and 2013, was a particular bugbear for some.

Trevor Butler said: “The grandiose scheme to re-build the quite functional grammar school premises had funding problems from the start and should never have gone ahead.

“Money was so tight that part of the old 1950s building still remains, surrounded by the new concrete and steel structure.”

Karen Beard added: “It’s an absolute disgrace, the government shouldn’t be letting this happen.

“£30million spent to build Haywards Heath yet it’s not worth saving?

“What’s the betting it’s sold for a fraction of its cost and turned into flats - expensive flats!”

A college spokesman said applicants would be helped to find a place elsewhere for study in September 2016.

Principal Sarah Wright said: “Our immediate priorities are to minimise the disruption to students and deal as fairly as possible with affected staff.

“We have timed the announcement so as to give as early warning as possible to applicants. A-level and vocational students half way through two-year courses will continue until the end of their courses.

“We have also put a number of measures in place to honour our obligation to students and protect the quality of every course. These include incentives to retain teaching staff, retention of expert learning and teaching managers and plans to fill any future gaps with high quality teachers.”

Staff numbers at the Haywards Heath campus will be reduced in line with the number of students and 19 full time posts will be made redundant.

Ms Wright added: “We have explored all other options but these decisions, taken with reluctance and deep regret for the impact on staff, are sadly necessary.”

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