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Breaking: Gazelle Colleges Group announces major restructure and halves cost of membership

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The Gazelle Colleges Group is changing its structure to put all of its members on a level playing field following a membership review.

The new structure will remove the "distinction" of being a founding college – City College Norwich and Warwickshire College Group will receive complimentary membership for two years in recognition of this.

Membership will be £15,000 per year.

The Gazelle Group was set up in 2012 to encurage enterprise in the further education sector, build better connections between colleges and the private sector and give students a realistic business experience as they learned and grew to 23 colleges.

In January, TES reported that the Gazelle Group needed structural reform, after independent analysis from The Policy Consortium concluded that it needed to become “more attuned to the smooth and efficient running of a large and complex organisation”.

Ofsted data also revealed in 2014 that the constituent colleges – which were paying membership of £30,000 a year plus VAT – were underperforming compared with the sector as a whole.

The Gazelle Group’s new structure gives full membership through a not-for-profit system, which will seek to maximise the benefits to its members by minimising costs through the support of partners and sponsors.

Ten colleges have confirmed their commitment to work together in the membership framework.

Gazelle Colleges Group chair Stella Mbubaegbu said: “Gazelle needed to change in order to better reflect the financial pressures facing colleges, and to respond to the independent impact report, published earlier this year.”

“However, the need for innovation and enterprise in colleges has not changed. In fact it is more critical than ever given the challenges facing the sector,” she added.

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