City & Guilds Centre Charges – what they mean for students

Some “interesting” news to come from City & Guilds this month:

I don’t know if this is common knowledge or not, but a few years back City & Guilds decided to impose a minimum yearly spend on their centres.  I know of at least two locally (Cajobah in Birkenhead was one) who cited this as the main reason for giving up their centre status.  If centres are only taking a couple of classes, as specialist embroidery or patchwork centres often are, then they would not be able to take enough attending students to meet the City & Guilds spending requirements.  They can then either give up completely, or try to struggle on by increasing the City & Guilds registration cost to the student to try to scrape something back.  Of course, this is often self-defeating, as students resist the larger than usual registration fee and don’t enrol at that centre. 

Since it was originally instigated, the yearly spend has risen each year, but this year we have just had a letter to say it has doubled again this year.  Now for us as a distance centre, that is do-able, but for many local individual providers it won’t be, so I think this may be the year we lose even more specialist centres than previously, if possible and I’m sure even some of the smaller colleges will also pull out of centre status.  Sadly this will mean that whereas it has been difficult to find a local centre delivering textile subjects, it will now become almost impossible. Way to go City & Guilds – not!

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