Senior management at the London College of Communication, where I teach part-time, are taking an increasingly heavy-handed approach in the face of continuing student protests over course closures and reorganisation plans.
According to the latest report on Arts London News – the website produced by students as part of their course curriculum – an injunction against ten students has been issued. The court order prevents the named students from entering certain parts of the college. It would seem that, despite the vogue for referring to students as customers in our marketised education system, the idea of customer service still has some way to go.
Staff have also been wondering how much the college is paying the private security guards it has drafted in, this at a time when lack of funds is being used as a reason to cut jobs and courses. Jonathan Leader, the tutor who witnessed the attempts by security guards to break up a student protest, expressed the feelings of many in a letter he wrote to the college management.
Meanwhile, talks between the staff unions and management seem to going nowhere fast, with a threatened strike ballot looking almost inevitable. Oh, and in the midst of all this we’re still trying to teach.