Writtle College is in turmoil after staff lodged a vote of no confidence in the senior management team.

A consultative ballot of members organised by the University and College Union, Unison and Unite, revealed that 91% had lost faith in the principal and his senior management team.

The vote followed an announcement of 16 compulsory redundancies at the college and a reduction in contract hours.

The latest cuts came on top of 13 voluntary redundancies and the unions said they were deeply concerned about the impact job losses and worsening conditions of service would have on students’ education.

The unions have been backed by students who have expressed anger at the turmoil.

Student Union president Emily Stevens said: “I am really disappointed at what has happened here at Writtle.

“Students feel completely let down. Senior management has failed to respond to our concerns about how these cuts will affect courses and our education.”

But the chairwoman of the Writtle board of governors, Lotte Olsen, rejected the criticisms.

“The board does not agree with the outcome of the vote which reflects the views of union members and is not an indicator of the total staff view.

“The college is currently undergoing organisational change to ensure sustainable independence for the future,” said Ms Olsen.

“We are confident that as a result of these steps, there will be a significant improvement in the institution’s financial performance,” she said.