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College staff in Plymouth urge ministers to step in

Staff vote 349 to one to express their lack of confidence in new principal Garry Phillips

COLLEGE staff in Plymouth have urged ministers to step in after delivering an overwhelming vote of no confidence in their management today.

Workers at City College Plymouth (CCP) voted by 349 to one to express their lack of confidence in new principal Garry Phillips.

They also delivered a unanimous no-confidence vote in new financial manager Martin Smith.

And 99 per cent of the workers voted that they had no confidence in the college’s board of governors, which was responsible for the appointments of Mr Phillips and Mr Smith.

The college has been heavily criticised for hiring Mr Phillips after a government report found that he was responsible for his previous institution going into administration.

The report, released by the Further Education Commissioner last week, said that a “failure of governance and leadership” at Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College (EHWLC) had led to it being placed in administered status.

Despite the crisis at the college, Mr Phillips received a 31 per cent pay rise in the 2016-17 financial year, making him the fifth highest-paid principal in Britain.

Mr Smith also worked at EHWLC during this period. When Mr Phillips was in charge of New College Telford, Mr Smith worked there too.

The CCP board of governors has publicly expressed its confidence in Mr Phillips’s ability. However, the University and College Union called on the government to intervene, saying that the vote demonstrated the anger that staff feel towards the entire administration.

Union regional official Philippa Davey said: “Anyone with any integrity would see that this vote means staff have no confidence in any decision made by the principal and his cohort.

“People with these track records should not be in charge of what is a fantastic college.

“A teacher with such a failed record would not be given a job and the time has come for ministers to step in and deal with this debacle.”

CCP did not respond to requests for comment.

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