Stratford-upon-Avon College Merger
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the College going to close?
No. The merger is taking place to ensure that the College can continue to operate at an optimum level, serving its learners and the community with a comprehensive and robust curriculum provision.
Why is the College merging? / What are the benefits of a merger?
The merger is taking place primarily to maximise the opportunities for students across the county. A merger will allow us to broaden the high quality of further and higher education provision in the county, at the same time as managing expected reductions in income as central government strives to reduce the national budget deficit. The current economic climate makes it increasingly challenging for medium-and small-sized General Further Education Colleges to offer consistently high-quality learning opportunities.
A merger will see a continuation of our commitment to operate as inclusive, high-quality providers of teaching and learning. We have first-rate staff and excellent facilities but, on our own, lack the critical mass to achieve the economies and efficiencies needed to invest in modern learning resources and to offer the diverse range of courses our locality deserves. We are passionate about providing the county with resilience, flexibility and responsiveness to future change in further education.
Who will the College merge with?
Over the coming weeks, the Board of Governors will be considering the merits of various colleges with a view to merge. Always at the forefront of deliberations will be the best interests of the students, staff and the local community of Stratford-upon-Avon.
Staff unions are working closely with the Governing body and Interim Principal Andrew Cropley to ensure that the transition towards any proposed merger of the College is carried out smoothly and efficiently; this means the selection of the merger partner will include an options analysis involving colleges geographically close to Stratford.
Is the merger a cost–saving exercise?
The main rationale for the merger is to increase opportunities and breadth of provision across the county and beyond, and to share good practice between two successful colleges. In addition, it will provide the economy of scale needed to invest inmodern resources and facilities. The merger will provide a natural opportunity to make non-staff savings which will ultimately reduce overheads. This is important as reductions in FE funding continue. The merger will allow us to grow and develop high-quality provision, whilst managing expected reductions in government funding.
What will the name of the new College be? How has this been decided?
This will depend entirely on the College with which we merge. You will be updated as soon as we have more information.
I have applied to join the College in September 2017. Will I still be able to enrol?
Yes. We will endeavour to ensure student life is affected as little as possible. The College will continue to offer a broad curriculum provision, meeting the needs of the community and beyond.
The reason I picked my college was because it was close to home. Will my course still run at the same campus?
Yes. There are no plans to alter the location of any courses for the 2016/2017 academic year. Additionally, in the long term, the merger may provide an opportunity to share specialist facilities to improve learner experience.
I am currently studying at the College. Will there be a change to my course fees?
There are no plans to alter current course fees.
My child has special educational needs. How will they be affected?
By merging, we are able to continue to provide specialist provision for students with special educational needs.
How will this impact Adult Community Classes?
We will be in a stronger position to provide high-quality specialist provision. We can share good practice and expertise among practitioners. We will be able to offer innovative low price solutions to make courses accessible to more adults.
Have you got future plans to alter your Higher Education provision?
There are no immediate plans to alter HE provision for 2016/2017. We will continue to review the economic priorities for the local area and will offer provision to reflect market demand and need. In addition, it is important to remember the merger will provide even more robust progression opportunities for our learners.