Ealing, Hammersmith and West London’s College and Kensington & Chelsea College have announced that they are starting a process to merge the two colleges in order to broaden the opportunities available to learners and help meet the future needs of employers across the region.

Building on the key strengths of each institution, the move will ensure students benefit from a wider choice of courses and apprenticeships. The newly-formed college will be in the strongest position to be able to deliver the high standards of education and skills that local employers want in their future workforce. Both colleges will retain their existing sites and names.

Garry Phillips, chief executive of Ealing, Hammersmith and West London’s College, said: “We are truly excited about the benefits a partnership with Kensington and Chelsea College will bring for both students and businesses in the area.

“The combined strengths of these two organisations will offer students an exciting spectrum of educational and training opportunities – including the chance to progress on to higher level apprenticeships and degree courses. This will prepare students for the very best chance of career success, help secure the future of further education across London and make a significant contribution to the economic development of our region.”

Tony Alderman, chair of the governing body at Ealing Hammersmith and West London’s College, said: “This partnership will ensure that we can work across West London to develop the essential skills that will feed the growth of this dynamic region. Students from the two colleges will have access to the best teaching available, whether they want to continue in further education, take up a work-based learning opportunity, go on to university or leave college ready for the world of work.”

Michele Sutton CBE, interim principal of Kensington and Chelsea College, said: “We are delighted to be able to announce the agreement to enter into this merger with a very strong, well-respected and successful neighbouring college. This announcement is the result of a long and careful process to ensure the best future for students of all ages in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, ensuring good provision in the borough while at the same time drawing on the resources of a larger organisation. We are looking forward to working closely together as this merger takes shape over the coming months and ensuring a smooth transition.”

Mary Curnock Cook OBE, chair of Kensington and Chelsea College, said: "The proposed merger will secure  future provision in both our North Kensington and Chelsea sites which provide such vital services to our students and the communities we serve.   Our Board is looking forward to working with the governing body at WLC to support the success of this merger."

A period of formal public consultation will commence in the autumn, with the newly-merged institution expected to launch early in 2018.

About Ealing, Hammersmith and West London’s College: Located across four main sites, Ealing, Hammersmith and West London’s College is the leading college in west London. A further and higher education college offering both part-time and full-time courses, it educates around 20,000 students. It is rated good by Ofsted and recently won a national TES FE Award for outstanding use of technology to improve teaching, learning and assessment.

About Kensington & Chelsea College: Kensington and Chelsea College, based on two sites in the borough, offers further and higher education, full-time and part-time.

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