THE MERGER between Stratford College and neighbouring Solihull College has moved a step closer with the start of the public consultation process.
Cash-strapped Stratford College announced in March it was being bailed out by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) – after Lloyds Bank refused to provide temporary financial support.
And part of the bail out saw former Warwickshire College deputy principal Andrew Cropley take over from Nicola Mannock as principal.
The college also started searching for a possible merger partner before agreeing a deal with Solihull College & University Centre.
Both colleges will keep their current identity but work together to develop a wide and varied curriculum. Bosses say the merger will provide greater opportunities for staff and students.
Both colleges are looking forward to the future with confidence.
Mr Cropley said: “The enhanced progression opportunities and access to new facilities the merger will offer will be of huge benefit to our current and future students.
“The proposal we have produced sets out the benefits of the merger to the whole region and we look forward to hearing the local community’s feedback.”
And Solihull College principal John Callaghan was equally optimistic.
“Each college possesses unique areas of expertise and this merger will enable us to maximise our combined strengths.
“Over the last 18 months, Solihull College & University Centre has received a ‘good’ rating across all areas in its Ofsted report and was awarded a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold Rating for its university level provision, so this is a fantastic time to join forces with Stratford.”
The consultation process allows people to voice their thoughts and opinions in order to help shape the future of the joined college.
Visit www.stratford.ac.uk or www.solihull.ac.uk for further details.