500 signatures reached
To: Joe Wilson & the management of Leeds Conservatoire
Stop Leeds Conservatoire’s proposed staff restructure
We hope you will be more transparent and engage with the students of Leeds Conservatoire in your future proposals.
Why is this important?
The proposed staff restructure would drastically impair the world-class educational experience currently provided by Leeds Conservatoire thanks to the personalized academic structure and expert leadership.
As a student body, we are aware that you are currently exploring various options to tackle the increasing strain upon the conservatoire’s finances. We understand that the scale of the current pressure is not something to be taken lightly and that action must happen.
However, we are aware that one option being explored involves serious staff restructuring within the conservatoire.
We have seen that there will be nine jobs at risk of redundancy across both schools; this will massively impair the educational experience of the students of all pathways. The prospect of the programme leader and curriculum manager being made redundant for the jazz would be greatly concerning for the future of our education at Leeds Conservatoire. This same concern goes for all other at-risk pathways.
Not only do these course leaders set and manage the well-designed curriculums, but they also offer educational and professional guidance whilst remaining approachable and visible members of staff.
We are concerned about how the personalized education currently offered at Leeds Conservatoire would be maintained under this staff restructure. While a ‘Head of Music and Education’ may be able to manage the admin work of the jazz, classical, film, and junior courses, they will not be able to provide the same curriculum level and quality for the individual pathways, and will not be available to provide educational help and guidance to students. This will undoubtedly lead to less competitive degrees compared to other institutions, decreasing our future employability.
We are also concerned about the lack of detail currently being shared with students. Whilst we acknowledge that the finances and business of the conservatoire are private and complex, we feel that proposed changes of this magnitude should involve student voices — as ultimately it is us, the students, that will be the most affected. Section 4 of our 2022/23 Terms and Conditions states that ‘where a change is more significant, student consultation will take place before any changes are made that will impact current students.’ As a cross-pathway student body, we do not believe that this is currently being upheld.
We understand that the issues you are facing are not simple or easy, but we feel that restructuring the staff in the currently proposed way would negatively affect all students at Leeds Conservatoire and hinder its largest selling point that helps it to be a world-class college and that other options need to be explored with the inclusion of the student voice in an open dialogue.
We want to understand why this action is necessary, what will be done to mitigate any effect on our education, and why other options open to the institution are not viable.