Lecturers at Sandwell College have threatened to strike over what they claim will be up to 40 job loses as a result of a decision to axe GCSE and A-level courses.
The Black Country college plans to stop teaching the courses as part of a restructuring drive. It says the cull is necessary because the subjects have suffered from low retention and achievement rates.
Two other short courses – one in electrical administration and the other in office administration – are also to go.
Union leaders last night claimed hundreds of students in the deprived borough would be forced to travel long distances to other colleges if they wanted to continue their education.
Nick Varney, the University and College Union’s West Midlands regional official, said: “We do not believe that the college has made any attempt to address the issues of retention and achievement or given a second thought to the students it is essentially dropping from the education system.
“Sandwell is exactly the kind of area that needs to be encouraging students into education and giving them a better start or a second chance in life, not throwing them out.”
Mr Varney accused college managers of acting like “educational liquidators”.
“We will be calling on members, the local community and politicians to campaign against these cuts and, if we have to, we will be taking industrial action,” he said.
No one was available at Sandwell College for comment last night. The college, which has more than 10,000 students, has been through a troubled period in recent times.
In 2006 it was given a year’s notice to improve by the Learning and Skills Council after inspectors judged six out of 11 of its categories “inadequate”, including leadership and management, level of achievement, and effectiveness of provision.