• Failing colleges that merge 'can expect' Ofsted monitoring visit

    Grade three or four colleges that merge can expect to receive a monitoring visit before their first full inspection, Ofsted has confirmed today. The clarification, which applies to mergers from January 2018 onwards, follows criticism that poor-performing colleges had been able to get away without any Ofsted scrutiny following a merger. According to the FE

    11.25 Oct. 1st, 2018 | News

  • Ofsted criticised for allowing college mergers to be excuse for turning a blind eye to failure

    The chair of the influential education select committee has called on Ofsted to “learn the lessons” from Learndirect, after an FE Week investigation found failing colleges that still hadn’t been visited by the education watchdog a year after they merged. Mid-Cheshire College, rated ‘inadequate’ for the second time in a row in May 2017, merged

    7.00 Aug. 3rd, 2018 | News

  • August is key merger month amid 17 partnerships for 2018

    A partnership that was bitterly opposed by a local council, and the first university-college link-up in six years, are among four mergers set to go through on August 1. They are among 17 partnerships due to be formalised this year, despite Ofsted’s recent warning that bigger colleges are not always better. Financially stricken Epping Forest

    8.00 Jul. 16th, 2018 | News

  • Ofsted: Bigger colleges aren't always better

    “Big is not always beautiful,” Ofsted’s main man for FE has warned, admitting he is considering the effect of mega-colleges formed through mergers on quality. Paul Joyce’s admission comes just a week after the nation’s largest college group NCG saw its rating slip to ‘requires improvement’. “We are looking at our survey programme as to

    11.00 Jun. 29th, 2018 | News

  • London mega-merger to create England’s third biggest college group

    Moves are afoot to create one of the largest college groups in the country by joining four institutions from across east London and Essex. New City College and Epping Forest College in Essex will launch a consultation tomorrow on their plans to merge from August. The group has also confirmed that it’s in discussions with

    17.51 May. 2nd, 2018 | News

  • College that needed huge bailouts set to merge

    A college that has received millions of pounds in government bailouts has announced plans to merge. Accrington and Rossendale College will join forces with grade one Nelson and Colne College later this year, under plans announced by the two institutions today. “We are delighted to announce the vision for a new merged college for Pennine

    13.30 Apr. 27th, 2018 | News

  • Merger bulletin: the colleges in need of a partner

    The area reviews of post-16 education and training ended last March. They were designed to establish “fewer, often larger, more resilient and efficient providers”, but one year on from that final meeting of the steering group, there are more than a few financially challenged still struggling to find merger partners. FE Week looked at what’s

    10.10 Mar. 23rd, 2018 | News

  • Bolton pilots new college-university merger model

    A college is joining a university using an “innovative” new merger model that’s acting as a pilot for future partnerships between FE and HE. The alliance, between Bolton College and the University of Bolton, means the college, which has a grade two from Ofsted, will retain its own principal and governing board, giving it greater

    11.00 Mar. 10th, 2018 | News

  • College still allowed to provide apprenticeships despite 'inadequate' Ofsted

    A college rated ‘inadequate’ for its apprenticeship provision more than seven months ago was given special dispensation to remain on the register of apprenticeship training providers. St Helens College (pictured) was given the lowest possible grade for apprenticeships in a report published last June, but has never been removed from the register – even though

    12.00 Feb. 3rd, 2018 | News

  • Why are so many college mergers falling apart?

    The area reviews are a disaster slowly unfolding before our eyes, claims Jonathan Brash, who believes the process was motivated by cuts alone Hopelessly flawed and done for the wrong reasons. That’s the only rational assessment we can make of the government’s ill-fated area review programme. Hartlepool Sixth-Form College was part of the first wave,

    5.00 Sep. 24th, 2017 | Opinion

  • College caught on camera touting for rival’s learners

    A college has been snapped touting for students right outside a rival’s campus – enflaming tensions sparked by a recent merger. Sunderland College’s advertising van, emblazoned with the words “Sure you’ve made the right choice? It’s not too late to change your mind”, was parked at a junction outside the main campus of its neighbour

    10.18 Sep. 15th, 2017 | News