The Governing Bodies of New College Swindon and Swindon College have announced they have agreed to undertake due diligence, with a view to them merging by the end of this academic year.
Governors for New College Swindon and Swindon College believe that a merger would bring a wide range of potential features and benefits for learners, employers and the wider community. These include a well planned and more cohesive high quality curriculum for all Swindon’s learners which will better meet our communities’ and employers’ needs.
The governors says that a merger would enable a fresh vision for Swindon, which will raise aspirations and standards, improve the learner experience and achievement rates and expand skills training opportunities for our employers with the aim of meeting current and future local needs.
Charlotte Mannion, Chair of Governing Body at New College Swindon said: “This merger is an opportunity for our two Colleges to come together to better meet the region’s education, skills and training needs.
"Together we will be a major force shaping future learning opportunities and helping to drive the economic prosperity of the Swindon and Wiltshire area.”
The Department of Education have recently confirmed their approval for the planned Institute of Technology (IoT) in Swindon to be re-aligned with the merger project. In April 2019, the IOT Consortium, comprising both Colleges, local Universities, employers and wider stakeholders, became one of only 12 groups nationwide to win the competition, with a bid for a £21 million capital project designed to bring 1,000 new higher education places to the area by 2026.
Rob Beale, Chair of Governors at Swindon College said: “The coming together of our two institutions is absolutely right for Swindon, local people and employers.
"The joint strength and expertise of the two Colleges, along with the opportunities that the IoT will afford, means greater choice, enhanced skills development and improved progression opportunities for everyone – right through to the higher education level.”
The Colleges will be issuing a public consultation document in the New Year, to gather the views and opinions of learners, staff, employers, stakeholders and the wider community.
Students starting or continuing on courses at the Colleges in September 2020 will continue to study in their current locations but will have the opportunity to access a wider range of resources and facilities.