TCAT and New College Telford to join forces in merger plan
Two Telford colleges will merge this summer, it has been revealed.
The proposed merger between Telford College of Arts and Technology and New College Telford is on target to be completed by the beginning of August.
Recruitment is now under way for a new chief executive and principal to lead the combined organisation into the start of the 2017/18 academic year.
Business experts from financial consultancy Deloitte will formally examine the merger plans over the coming weeks as part of the due diligence process before they are submitted to the Skills Funding Agency.
The proposals are then due to be opened up to consultation among staff, stakeholders and students from the two colleges in the spring.
Ian Clinton, interim principal at TCAT, said: "The merger process is going ahead as we speak, and the intention is to be fully merged, legally, by August 1. But there are still quite a lot of things to do.
"New College Telford provides A-levels, which we do not, so the merger can expand these opportunities.
"In turn it will allow the newly merged college to continue to provide apprenticeships – which is a key part of our business, and a key Government agenda."
Martin Smith, interim principal of New College Telford, said: "The merger will offer to Telford and Wrekin students a wider range of opportunities for study, while maintaining the unique features of each college."
Interviews for the merged college's principal and chief executive post are due to be held in early February.
The job is already being advertised through the Association of Colleges, with a closing date of January 16.
Original proposals had been put forward that would see New College Telford and Shrewsbury College merge into Shrewsbury Sixth Form College, creating one large sixth form college group.
But in April last year, it was announced that the two Shrewsbury colleges would merge, leaving New College free to explore options with TCAT, both based in Wellington.
In August, the two Shrewsbury colleges announced their official merger under the new name of Shrewsbury College Group.
They said the move would help secure high quality education for students aged 16 and over.
James Staniforth was appointed to the role of principal and chief executive for the college group in November.