Colleges to merge to withstand cuts

Hackney Community College

Hackney Community College

Two further education colleges in Hackney and Tower Hamlets are due to merge later this year following government cuts to further education.

The merger will take place on August 1 in time for the start of the academic year in September and will see the two colleges come together internally, whilst maintaining their locations, names and individual branding.

It is not clear where any savings will be made as a result of the merger.

A spokesperson for Tower Hamlets College insisted no jobs would be lost. He said: “Both boards have given assurance that there will be no job losses as a result of merger.”

Tower Hamlets College in Poplar and Stepney and Hackney Community College in Shoreditch have said in a press release that they decided to merge in to “create a single, larger and more sustainable college”.

Tom Mautner, chair of Hackney Community College’s board of governors said: “Through this merger we will be in an excellent position to achieve our shared vision of maintaining high quality and wide-ranging further education in Hackney and Tower Hamlets.”

Martin Earwicker, chair of Tower Hamlets College’s board of governors said: “Both corporations have been concerned with ensuring that we are able to continue to provide our respective local communities with access to high quality further education.”

The two institutions have a combined total of 17,000 pupils, 800 members of staff and a turnover of around £40 million. It is hoped that together they will withstand any further government cuts.

The colleges are asking for suggestions for a new name for the governance structure, which “expresses the nature of the partnership, while ensuring both colleges’ existing names and brands are retained”.

There will also be a new board of governors made up with equal numbers from the two colleges but will have a new chair and the new name.

Residents can submit feedback on the plans and name suggestions online.

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