The leaders of all 11 colleges in the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area have joined forces to be the “driving force and the engine” behind economic growth.
The New Anglia Colleges Group, which was launched this month but has been informally meeting since February 2014, also published a ‘manifesto’ which lays out their collective view on how to improve the quality of education across the area.
The document includes discussions on the need for secure funding which matches student need, for support of “proper” careers education in schools, and access for students to grants and loans through new education accounts.
It also calls for affordable and accessible student transport, business centred English and maths qualifications, and public consultation on new school proposals.
Dr Nikos Savvas, chairman of the New Anglia Colleges’ Group and principal of West Suffolk College, said the group are “proud to be the driving force and the engine behind the improving economic growth in the region.
“Our vision is important. It sets out the needs and priorities of the sector. We are working together as we believe passionately in the ethos of ‘education without borders’ for the benefit of this region,” he added.
“We will be working as one to support the New Anglia LEP, so that together we are committed to raising educational standards and aspirations and a stronger regional economy.”
The member colleges are: City College Norwich; The College of West Anglia; East Norfolk Sixth Form College; Easton and Otley College; Great Yarmouth College; Lowestoft College; Lowestoft Sixth Form College; Paston Sixth Form College; Suffolk New College; Suffolk One and West Suffolk College.
Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia LEP, who has written the foreword to the manifesto said: “This is a really exciting vision and an important moment for everyone working in or studying at our local colleges, or who plans to become as student in the future.
“This is our colleges working collaboratively and at their best right across Suffolk and Norfolk. Driving higher skills and delivering a skilled and inspired future workforce for businesses in the East is key to us all benefiting from the competitive international economy we are building here.
“This area is the natural home for future business leaders and entrepreneurs, and for them to see Suffolk and Norfolk as one of the best areas in the world to live and work.”
The manifesto launch comes ahead of the Government’s area review for Norfolk and Suffolk , which is planned to start in November 2016.
Visit www.newangliacolleges.co.uk to find out more about the group’s vision.
Pic: Back row from left: Kevin Grieve, principal of Paston Sixth Form College, Corienne Peasgood, principal of City College Norwich, David Henley, principal of Easton and Otley College, Dr Catherine Richards, principal of East Norfolk Sixth Form College
Front row from left: Alan Whittaker, principal of Suffolk One, Viv Gillespie, principal of Suffolk New College, Dr Nikos Savvas, principal of West Suffolk College, Jo Pretty, principal of Lowestoft College