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College merger plans on schedule

The proposed merger between Telford College of Arts and Technology (TCAT) and New College Telford is on target to be completed by the beginning of August.

Recruitment is already under way for a new chief executive and principal to lead the combined organisation into the start of the 2017/18 academic year.

Business experts from financial consultancy Deloitte will be formally examining the merger plans over the coming weeks as part of the due diligence process, before they are submitted to the Skills Funding Agency.

The proposals are then due to be opened up to consultation among staff, stakeholders, and students from the two colleges, in the spring.

Ian Clinton, interim principal at TCAT, said: “The merger process is going ahead as we speak, and the intention is to be fully merged, legally, by August 1. But there are still quite a lot of things to do.

“New College Telford provides A Levels, which we do not, so the merger can expand these opportunities. And in turn, it will allow the newly merged college to continue to provide apprenticeships – which is a key part of our business, and a key Government agenda.”

Martin Smith, interim principal of New College Telford, added: “The merger will offer to Telford and Wrekin students a wider range of opportunities for study, whilst maintaining the unique features of each college.”

Interviews for the merged college’s principal and chief executive post are due to be held in early February.

The job is already being advertised through the Association of Colleges, with a closing date of January 16.

The two colleges say: “We are seeking a strategic leader who will have the presence and credibility to inspire staff, learners and external partners.

“The new principal and chief executive must have the gravitas, strategic vision, fiscal expertise and operational capability to take the college forward.”

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