Birmingham Area Review Recommendations

Three Birmingham colleges could merge as a result of the area review in the city, while all three of the city’s sixth-form colleges are in the running to convert to academy status, according to a leaked document.

The recommendations from the Birmingham and Solihull area review’s steering group call for a radical overhaul of post-16 provision in the city, according to documents seen by the Birmingham Mail. The newspaper reports that  the steering group, led by FE commissioner David Collins, will recommend that Bournville College and South & City College Birmingham merge, with the possible addition of Cadbury Sixth Form College.

This would reduce the number of colleges from the seven covered by the area review to four. If the three-way merger were to go ahead, the document recommends that all of the colleges retain their individual brands. Alternatively, the report suggests that Cadbury Sixth Form College could instead end up forming a multi-academy trust with schools in the south of the city.

birmingham area review

Motivational Points

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Pay Policy

Sandwell Observation Boycott

Observations are often a huge source of stress for members in FE. Already overloaded, the extra paperwork pushes many to breaking point, and added to that is the anxiety of the observation itself, with the fear that what should be a developmental process is used as a capability assessment and potentially as a way to target staff management don’t like. Consultants receive huge amounts of public money to come into classrooms to tell the people who are teaching every day how much better they could be at their jobs. It is exhausting and it damages morale.

At Sandwell college, members are standing together to say they will not accept an unfair observation policy. After management went back on agreed procedure, the branch have been balloted and voted 98% in favour of a boycott, with 89% backing an escalation to strike action if there is any victimisation or unfair financial penalty.

The boycott began on Tuesday (02.02.16), and it would be great for Sandwell branch to receive messages of support from other branches across the region. You can email these to Sandwell’s branch secretary, Dave Muritu, at, and he will pass these along to the branch.