Merger plans announced for East Riding College and The Grimsby Institute

A college in the Humber has announced plans to merge with one of the largest FE provider’s in the country, in a bid to “safeguard their long term sustainability”.

East Riding College will join the TEC Partnership, formerly known as the Grimsby Institute Group, in the summer of 2020, subject to a public consultation.

The decision has been made following a review of East Riding’s “strategic plan”, which was conducted with the Department for Education and FE Commissioner “at the college’s request”.

A spokesperson said: “Not only will joining the TEC partnership provide East Riding College with added sustainability, it will also provide scope for the college to continue to thrive and maintain its high performance.”

East Riding is rated ‘good’ by Ofsted and teaches around 4,000 learners every year.

Its latest accounts, for 2017/18, show a deficit of £982,000. Its cash outflow for the year was £141,000, which was “largely” due to the large deficit as well as cash clawbacks by the Education and Skills Funding Agency of £305,000 “relating to the previous year’s performance”.

As part of the TEC Partnership, East Riding said it will retain its “independence and identity”.

The Grimsby Institute is rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted and teaches over 10,000 learners every year.

Mike Welsh, principal of East Riding College said he believes the merger is “the right thing to do”.

“Joining such a strong and influential partnership as an equal partner gives us the means and resources to increase opportunities for our communities and realise our ambitions for the region,” he added.

“East Riding College continues to perform extremely well, with overall achievement rates putting us in the top 15 per cent of general further education colleges nationally.”

Gill Alton, chief executive of the TEC Partnership, said: “I’m delighted with today’s news.

“We will now work together over the coming months to help East Riding College integrate with the Partnership whilst maintaining our absolute focus on our learners and our colleagues in both organisations.”

The colleges expect to finalise the merger towards the end of 2019/20 “after public consultation and consultation with their stakeholders”.

The TEC Partnership currently comprises of the Grimsby Institute, University Centre Grimsby, Scarborough TEC, Skegness TEC, The Academy Grimsby, Career 6, Modal Training and National Employer Training.