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Telford colleges: merger one step nearer

The merger between Telford College of Arts and Technology (TCAT) and New College Telford (NCT) has moved a step closer, it has emerged.

Both colleges have formally agreed how they will begin to work as one college in preparation for the completion of the official merger later this year.

Graham Guest, who now becomes principal and chief executive of both colleges, said: “The two colleges have been working collaboratively for many months now, so this is simply a formalisation of our joint working arrangements and the bringing together of the two colleges under the single banner of ‘Telford College’.

“We are already using our combined knowledge and skills to build a one-stop service for students and employers, building on the best traditions of both colleges to provide high quality education, skills and training.”

The corporation boards of TCAT and NCT met separately this week to approve a heads of terms agreement which formally brings their staff and services together as one college.

It means the ‘shadow board’ which has been running for several months since the announcement of merger proposals will become the board designate for the merged college. The chairs of TCAT and NCT will become the chair and vice-chair respectively of the new Telford College corporation.

Paul Hinkins, who chairs the current board of governors at TCAT and the shadow board said: “This is an important step towards providing sustainable good quality FE and HE provision in Telford that serves the needs of the whole community and employers of all sizes across Telford and Shropshire.

“Telford College is committed to being fully-engaged with our schools, parents, communities, businesses, students and stakeholders, and has adopted a collaborative approach.”

Gail Bleasby, who chairs the current board of governors at NCT, added: “We are all working hard towards providing training courses which match the needs of local businesses.

“It’s all about maximising opportunities for students, developing their skills, and enabling them to achieve their aspirations here in the local area.”

Picture: Gail Bleasby, chair of NCT current board of governors, Graham Guest, principal and chief executive of TCAT/NCT, and Paul Hinkins, chair of TCAT current board of governors and the shadow board.

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