BOURNEMOUTH and Poole College is poised to make lecturers redundant, citing a six-year freeze on funding for further education.

The announcement – which is thought to affect up to 30 jobs – comes shortly after the institution’s principal warned that teaching hours had already been “cut to the bone”.

In a statement confirming that jobs were at risk, the college said: “The college keeps curriculum delivery under constant review to respond to changes in national policy and the demand from local students and employers. Following our comprehensive planning process for 2019/20, it has been decided to make changes to better allow us to support our students.

“Our new delivery model is one that is in place in a number of other colleges nationally and ensures a high quality of education and support, while ensuring we continue to balance our budget in the current challenging funding environment, which has seen a six year freeze on further education funding.

“These changes have required us to make difficult decisions regarding the number of teaching posts required as we move to new ways of delivering certain parts of the curriculum.

“We are mindful of, and regret, the impact this will have on those staff affected and we will work with them to offer all the support necessary to move through this process.

"It is hoped that by offering voluntary redundancy, the number of compulsory redundancies will be kept to an absolute minimum.”

It would not say how many jobs would be affected, but Daily Echo sources have put the number at anything from 22 to 30.

The Echo reported last month that college principal Dianne Grannell had warned of the effect of “disproportionate cuts” to the education budget.

She was among those signing a letter urging the government to spend more on further education in order to ensure Britain has the right skills to compete after Brexit.

Signatories to the letter also included Poole MP Sir Robert Syms, Mid-Dorset and North Poole MP Michael Tomlinson, Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns and South Dorset MP Richard Drax.

Ms Grannell said: "The disproportionate cuts to the FE budget in recent years have seen teaching hours cut to the bone, spending slashed on vital equipment and resources for training students, and difficulties in attracting and retaining staff in key areas such as engineering and mathematics.

"Because colleges are rooted in their local communities, this is impacting on the availability of the technical skills crucial for the local economy and on social mobility, as opportunities for learning are reduced."