East Kent College and Canterbury College are asking the public for their views on the proposed merger of the sites.
The two colleges started working in partnership last summer and the Governing Bodies agreed to merger in principle in October. Following further investigation – including a full internal consultation – the colleges are now beginning a statutory consultation into the proposal, which would include the dissolution of the current Canterbury College Corporation.
The new organisation which would be created as a result of the merger would be called the East Kent Colleges Group. The group would be made up of separate colleges in Broadstairs, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone and Sheerness. Each of the colleges would retain a strong local identity, helping deliver the skills required in the local economy, while providing a variety of technical and vocational training opportunities.
Graham Razey, Principal of East Kent College and Canterbury College, said: “We believe that this merger is the right thing to do in order to secure a vibrant further education offering for the people, employers and communities of East Kent. We’ve developed a robust plan to bring the colleges together as a group which will deliver real and tangible benefits to all of the communities and students we serve.”
The new organisation’s mission, vision, values and strategic proposition, along with consultation details can be accessed via two dedicated webpages at http://www.eastkent.ac.uk/mergerconsultation and www.canterburycollege.ac.uk/mergerconsultation.
The merger process is being steered by a special Transition Board, comprised of members from both colleges’ Governing Bodies.
Chair of the Transition Board, Beverley Aitken, said: “We have worked hard to develop a strategic proposition, mission, vision and values which are consistent with what we, and our staff and student bodies, believe Further Education is about; delivering for our communities, our students and employers. We want to ensure our colleges can enhance the areas we serve, and deliver the right skills for our communities’ future prosperity. This merger will secure that.”
Mr Razey added: “We are now asking the public to get behind this plan, and get involved in the consultation so that together we can ensure a strong further education offering which delivers for East Kent.”
The consultation runs from 20 March 2017 until 17 April.
Responses can be made via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to the Clerk to the Corporation, Sharon Hollingsworth, at Canterbury College, New Dover Road, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 3AJ.