Principal hits out at college ‘rumour mill’

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The principal of New College Lanarkshire has claimed some staff are actively trying to damage the organisation.

Martin McGuire appeared before the Scottish Government’s Public Audit committee last week after an audit revealed it has a deficit of over £500,000.

Mr McGuire told MSPs the situation is improving, but despite his efforts some staff refuse to believe the cash-strapped college won’t be closing campuses.

He said: “When colleges go into deficit, there is a fear among staff and they see that other organisations are looking at compulsory redundancies. We have tried to assure them that will not be the case in our situation.

“The deficit has come down to less than one per cent of turnover. Although we would not want to have a deficit of £500,000, there has been a marked improvement.

“For some staff it would not matter how many times I told them that there will be no compulsory redundancies and that no campuses are closing. There is a rumour mill, and there is a difficult culture in which some people actively seek to do damage in the organisation and to upset others.

“We are seeing that right across the sector just now, because of the turmoil, the churn and the change that are undoubtedly happening.”