College Collaboration Could Benefit Learners, Communities and Businesses

North Shropshire College and Reaseheath College are exploring the potential benefits of a closer collaboration, it was announced this week.

Both colleges are specialist land-based institutions, are in a strong phase of continuous growth and improvement and share a long history of delivering quality education. It is felt that, by working together to combine resources, expertise and reputation; the colleges would secure an even wider and better educational experience for current and future learners and will also support the growth and development of the Oswestry Campus. It is envisaged that such a collaboration would impact positively on the local economies of both counties by providing enhanced links with industry partners and local communities.

The proposal has been put forward in response to the government’s current area based reviews of post 16 education and training, which are central to its commitment to a move towards fewer and often larger colleges which would be more resilient and efficient in the future.

North Shropshire College is currently taking part in an area review involving all colleges in Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. It is to ask the Area Review Board to take into consideration its decision to explore closer collaboration with Reaseheath College, which is just over the border in Cheshire. The structure of such a collaboration would be agreed by the governing bodies of both colleges following further exploration.

North Shropshire College Principal Jackie Doodson said: “The governing body has carried out extensive research and appraised its options rigorously. As a result, it has concluded that a partnership with Reaseheath College would best secure the long term future of high quality land based provision for Shropshire along with high quality vocational education and training for Oswestry and rural North Shropshire.”

Reaseheath Principal Meredydd David commented: “This fantastic opportunity will allow both colleges to move forward and to respond together to the challenges facing the Further Education sector. Across the country, all colleges are tasked with ‘doing more with less’. We have a more important role than ever in supporting young people, local businesses and those seeking employment.”

Area reviews of post 16 education are being carried out in all regions by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education.

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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