The Corporation of Worthing College has selected Chichester College Group (CCG) as its preferred merger partner. This decision was reached after a robust selection and procurement process with input and support from the Further Education (FE) Commissioner and his team. Worthing College will join CCG’s existing colleges – Chichester, Brinsbury, Crawley and the Horsham Training Centre – with a timeline to complete the merger by the end of March 2019.
Paul Amoo, Chairman of Governors at Worthing College said: “This new partnership is excellent news for our college and will enable us to deliver our vision and mission to provide Worthing with an academic college that inspires, builds confidence and prepares students for the life they want to live.”
Roy Bowden, Vice Chair of Governors at Worthing added: “As a Corporation and College we are excited about this merger and believe there is a strong cultural fit between Worthing College and CCG. This will enable us to share best practice and support growth and progression opportunities for the local community.”
CCG are committed to supporting Worthing College deliver their vision as a college. These include:
- Maintenance of a strong academic ethos and integrity
- Retention of a broad and flexible offer of qualifications to enable students to undertake study centred on A level/Vocational and GCSE retake provision
- Strong progression pathways from Level 2 to Level 3 and beyond
- Maintenance of specialist provision including Academies and Foundation Degrees
- Enhancement of resources for all students including an expansion of our sports facilities
- Financial viability and sustainability
- Continued development of employer links and visibility in the community.
Shelagh Legrave OBE, CEO of CCG said: “The merger with Worthing College offers a compelling opportunity to create a dynamic organisation to serve the education and training needs of West Sussex and the wider region. There are many synergies between Worthing College and CCG, including high quality A-level provision and a strong sports curriculum. We believe joining together will only add positive value to our students. We also recognise opportunities to harness growth, through commercial prospects, apprenticeships, higher education and international provision. We are committed to maintaining stability in the leadership of Worthing College, led by the Principal Paul Riley, who will join the Strategic Leadership Team of CCG.”
Margaret Eva OBE, Chairman of Governors at CCG commented: “We are thrilled by the opportunity to welcome Worthing College into our group. Working together, we can ensure excellence for our learners, staff, businesses and communities. We are committed to expanding the college’s engagement with the local business community to respond to and anticipate local labour market needs. Together, we will support and enable the group’s mission to ‘change lives through learning’.”
A statutory consultation will take place later in the year with a plan to achieve merger before the end of March 2019. The priority for CCG and Worthing College will be to minimise disruption to staff and students and to ensure a seamless transition period. Paul Riley, Principal of Worthing College said: “I believe this merger is in the very best interests of staff, students and the wider community we serve. It will enable us to enhance our existing student support services to provide wrap around pastoral care for all of our students. We recognise and welcome CCG’s strengths in ‘Student Voice’ to enrich experiences and maintain an unrelenting focus on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment. Our staff have welcomed this announcement and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead and they will be kept abreast of all developments in the coming year.”
The merger will ensure the continuation of high quality teaching and learning at Worthing College with a wealth of progression opportunities. As part of CCG, Worthing College will be better positioned for growth through winning new contracts and having more influence in shaping the skills agenda both regionally and nationally.