Lancaster college up for sale

Beaumont College, Lancaster.
Beaumont College, Lancaster.
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A Lancaster college for disabled young people has been put up for sale.

Disability charity Scope, which owns and runs Beaumont College, in Slyne Road, said it had put the college and its services on the market as part of a new strategy.

The charity says its priority is for those that live in the college’s residential services, attends its schools or colleges, or accesses its community services to continue to do so.

Mark Atkinson, chief executive at Scope, said: “As part of our new strategy, ‘Everyday equality’, Scope will transform and focus the way we offer support to disabled people to ensure we can reach more disabled people than ever before.

“That means we cannot continue to do everything we do today.

“That’s why, we are proposing to transfer our regulated and day services – including Beaumont College – to other experienced providers who are best placed to invest and grow them in the future.

“Our priority is to ensure that everyone who lives in our residential services, attends our schools and colleges or accesses our community services continues to do so.

“We have just begun to market the services so we don’t know yet who will be taking on the services.

“We know this may be an anxious time for many people and we are committed to supporting our students, their families and staff during this time.

“We remain very proud of Beaumont College, a leading further education college rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, and our staff who provide high quality education and support to everyone who studies there.”

In June 2015, a quarter of the workforce at Beaumont College were made redundant.

Employees were told 72 jobs would go and were informed that remaining staff could face a 13 per cent pay cut.

Workers said the cuts would seriously reduce the quality of care given to students, who have a range of physical and learning disabilities.

The changes came after the college received a glowing report from health watchdog the Care Quality Commission after an inspection in September 2014.

It gained high marks in all five categories for being safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive, and was also rated ‘outstanding’ in its most recent report by education watchdog Ofsted.

The college offers education and support to 79 young people with a range of conditions, including cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome and autism.

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