BIS ‘confirms’ ruling on local authority plan to split troubled Lewisham Southwark College

Local council plans to split Lewisham Southwark College and bring half of it under local authority control have been rejected by the FE Commissioner, it has been claimed.

The college announced today that commissioner Dr David Collins had thrown out a proposal from Southwark Borough Council last month to de-merge the college.

The council suggestion included taking on the Southwark provision and contracting it out.

It comes amid an area-based assessment of South East London’s FE and skills provision, consisting of two structure and prospects appraisals at Greenwich Community College and Lewisham Southwark after they were both served with inadequate Ofted ratings — the second in a row for Lewisham Southwark, which is currently in administered status.

nd in addition to the Ofsted blows, the merged college’s £290k ‘Lesoco’ rebrand proved a failure, as exclusively revealed by FE Week.

A statement from the college, which is currently in administered status, said the commissioner and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) “have now confirmed that the proposal is not an option that would be considered or progressed”.

It added: “Instead the college has been given time to work on its planned recovery which has recently been praised by both the FE Commissioner and received positive comments towards changes made by Ofsted.”

Principal Carole Kitching took up the role in June. She said: “Lewisham Southwark should be and will be stronger together.”

Dr Collins, BIS and the council are yet to comment.

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