Outcome of UHI Perth Financial Sustainability Project

Dr Margaret Cook, UHI Perth Principal and Chief Executive confirmed: “We have concluded our collective consultation and issued a revised UHI Perth Financial Sustainability Project document to all staff today (13 June 2024).

"We will then begin the process of individual consultations. We are continuing to do everything we can to prevent compulsory redundancies using a Voluntary Severance scheme to save on staff costs.

"We made changes to the original proposal that would make the biggest impact on a positive student experience, along with the collective consultation feedback received from Trade Unions, staff and other stakeholders. The formal notification of our approved funding received mid-May also indicated changes to financial assumptions.

"By restructuring various departments, redistributing roles, and optimising operational processes, we aim to streamline our operations, enhance efficiency, and adapt to the changing demands of the market.
"However, after careful consideration of all available options, we regret to announce that our Nursery will permanently close at the end of June 2024 due to financial unsustainability. 
“Throughout the period of collective consultation, we actively engaged with our Trade Unions, staff, students, and parents/carers of the Nursery. We also listened to other stakeholders, including local politicians and Perth & Kinross Council. This decision comes after consideration of various counterproposals.
“We acknowledge that this has been a prolonged and challenging process for our dedicated staff as we explored possible alternative options. We are deeply appreciative of their patience and commitment during this time. For our parents, we are working closely with Perth & Kinross Council's Education and Children’s Services team to support the children and their families in transitioning to other childcare settings. 

"In the coming academic year, there were only planned to be 13 children within the nursery whose parents / carers were students, with all other places being taken through private placements. We would therefore be funding a deficit where over 70% of the places are privately funded, this is not a justifiable use of public funds.
“We deeply regret being in this position, but this decision is necessary to create financial sustainability and ensure a long-term viable and successful future for our college. We recognise the strength of feeling and upset that this decision causes. However, we wanted to inform our staff and nursery parents/carers as soon as possible to allow them to make alternative arrangements for their children. 

“Our difficult financial position, with rising costs and Scottish Government funding pressures, necessitates these changes to ensure we can continue providing our students with the best possible education and support. We reached out to local MSPs and MPs for assistance, but to date, no tangible offers of assistance have been provided. 

"We will continue to analyse the recommendations from our Workstreams and progress the initiatives and measures which align with our financial sustainability targets. Through these strategic adjustments, we are confident that UHI Perth will be better equipped to navigate the challenges ahead, ensuring not only financial resilience but also continued growth and success in fulfilling our mission of providing quality education and services to our community.

“We thank everyone for their understanding and support during this challenging time.”