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Rose Bruford staff threatened with redundancy as part of cost-cutting measures

Staff at Rose Bruford College are being threatened with redundancy as part of cost-cutting measures, The Stage can reveal.

An email seen by The Stage, which was sent to students by new principal Clarie Middleton, has revealed the drama school is currently considering proposals to restructure its staff and the delivery of its curriculum.

The college was told by the government in May last year [1] that it would lose its specialist institution funding of £800,000 a year, with the cut coming into effect in September next year.

Middleton told The Stage that this funding cut, combined with the need to “claw back” a deficit of £500,000 from last year, meant the institution had to look at becoming becoming more cost efficient.

The email sent to students said: “Last Friday the college board of governors approved proposals for some restructuring within the academic workforce and how the curriculum is delivered.

“This is linked to several other initiatives across the organisation that are designed to make us much more cost-efficient and, very importantly, to begin to build foundations for future growth and development.

“Sadly, this restructure may involve some redundancies amongst academic staff.”

Details of the proposed restructuring have not been revealed, with the proposals to now undergo a two to three week consultation period, in which staff members will be able to put forward alternative suggestions, before a final decision is made.

One current student at the college told The Stage: “It sucks when you have spent so long trying to get into drama school, and it is not the training you have signed up for.

“It’s just awful. Most of the core team of teaching staff have been there ten or 15 years and they’ve been so supportive to us. It feels like we have been left out the conversation and there’s nothing we can do about it.”

The student added: “We feel as if Rose Bruford has really built itself up and is producing better and better quality training, and that this will destroy the hard work and affect the quality of the teaching and the actors.”

Middleton responded to these concerns, insisting that the “content and quality of the courses will not change.”

She said: “It is about how [the courses] are taught and the mechanisms by which they are taught. The amount of admin vs contact hours, all of those things are being weighed up so we get the maximum cost effectiveness and efficiency. It won’t change the content or the quality one iota.”

She added that “lots of students were having their say”, and that she was currently working with the Students’ Union and had met with the year reps from the school’s courses.

Any changes to staffing will take place during the summer, beginning in July.