The number of colleges in England will fall by eight today as eight mergers take place across the country. This is the largest wave of mergers in a single day since the government announced the area review process for the sector in 2015. The process is aimed at providing fewer, larger, more financially resilient colleges.
A list provided by the Association of Colleges confirms the following mergers formally taking place today:
- City and Islington College and Westminster Kingsway College (will be known as WKCIC Group)
- Tower Hamlets College and Hackney Community College
- Bromley College of Further and Higher Education, Greenwich Community College and Bexley College (will be known as London South East Colleges)
- Warwickshire College Group and South Worcestershire College (will be known as Warwickshire College Group)
- North Warwickshire & Hinckley College and South Leicestershire College (will be known as North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College)
- Furness College and Barrow Sixth-Form College (will be known as Furness College)
- Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology and Shrewsbury Sixth-Form College
A merger between New College Nottingham and Central College Nottingham had also been scheduled to be completed on 1 August, but the colleges confirmed to TES that the process had not yet been completed. The same day saw Mike Hopkins, principal of South and City College Birmingham, take over as acting principal at Bournville College, ahead of the institutions' merger, expected to take place later this year.
Rotherham College of Arts and Technology and North Nottinghamshire College; Prior Pursglove College and Stockton Sixth-Form College; and Bridgwater College and Somerset College already merged earlier this year. The AoC estimates a further 11 mergers may take place during the 2016-17 academic year.
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