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‘Noisy’ protest against axing of Islington ceramics course

PUBLISHED: 07:15 13 March 2015

Protesters demonstrate against the closure of City and Islington College's Ceramics department Pic: Randerick Bishop

Protesters demonstrate against the closure of City and Islington College's Ceramics department Pic: Randerick Bishop

Archant

More than 60 staff and students took part in a “noisy” protest against the closure of a popular ceramics course on Wednesday.

The demonstration outside City and Islington college, in Goswell Road, Finsbury, opposed a plan to scrap the entire department at the loss of six members of staff.

Cross-dressing Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry has already voiced his anger over the proposed closure, along with fellow artists Edmund de Waal, Jeremy Deller and Alison Britton.

A consultation on the closure ends today (Friday) and a decision is expected later.

A spokesman for the college’s union said: “Whatever the outcome, staff and students here will continue to fight to defend adult education and lifelong learning following the Government’s recent announcement that it intends to cut up to 24 per cent of the adult funding budget next year.”

He added; “Notwithstanding a last minute change of venue, 60 staff and students took part in a noisy lobby of the college governors last night in defence of the ceramics department and in protest at the proposals to close down the provision as soon as possible.

“A delegation to speak to the meeting was refused, but two staff representatives were allowed to talk to David Gilbertson, chair of the curriculum and quality committee, and Graham Drummond, assistant principal for policy and governance.

“A petition with 4,000 signatures in support was handed in and robust arguments made in defence of the current provision and outlining a range of possibilities for its successful continuation.”

The department, based in the college’s campus in Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park, currently has 250 students.

Frank McLoughlin, principal of the college, said: “The ceramics provision has been very important to the college, however it is expensive to run, and involves very small numbers of students.

“We have therefore had to make the difficult decision to enter consultation about its future.

“No decisions have been made at this point.”


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