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'Financially weak' Guildford College Group finds merger partner

3 minute read
'Financially weak' Guildford College Group finds merger partner

Published at 10:01am 28th March 2018. (Updated at 4:13pm 28th March 2018)

The Guildford College Group has found a merger partner in an attempt to stabilize its declining financial position.

It comes after an intervention report in November from the Further Education Commissioner, which stated that the College had faced difficulties for a number of years.

In it, the group's 'weak' financial position was highlighted along with the need to invest heavily in two if its three campuses.

This was backed up by the then Secretary of State, Justine Greening.

She wrote to Chair of Governers at The Guildford College Group, John Denning, to tell him that she had accepted the Commissioner's recommendations - this included rapidly identifying a suitable merger partner.

That partner has now been found in Activate Learning, an educational organisation based in Oxford.

All three colleges under The Guildford College Group umbrella, Guildford College, Merrist Wood and Farnham Sixth Form College, will join them.

Mr Denning said: "This new partnership is very good news for the Guildford College Group. It’s all about securing the future while protecting the heritage of our long-established colleges.

"This new venture will secure a great future for the group and is an opportunity for a new lease of life that will benefit our learners, staff, local communities and employers we serve."

MP for Guildford, Anne Milton, who is also Minister for Skills and Appenticeships was copied in on Justine Greening's letter to Mr Denning.

Anne Milton

She told Eagle: "Guildford College could be great and we need it to be great. 

"It hasn't been performing that well over recent years and I hope this step will be important in seeing Guildford College doing what I know Guildford College can do.

"I think it could unlock a lot, I think it needs the local community behind it.

"Successful colleges tend to have a lot of business involvement and I think that's an area we could do more of in Guildford.

"I hope the collaboration between the local community, the college and business is really ramped up."


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