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Consultation to launch later this year asking if Havering colleges should merge in 2019

PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:18 05 October 2018

Havering Sixth Form College and Havering College of Further and Higher Education.

Havering Sixth Form College and Havering College of Further and Higher Education.

Havering Sixth Form College/Hayley Anderson

A consultation asking if Havering’s colleges should be part of a three-way merger will take place later this year.

The governing boards of Havering Sixth Form College, Hornchurch, Havering College of Further and Higher Education, Ardleigh Green, and New City College, which has campuses in Redbridge, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Epping, has given the green light to a federation agreement which came into effect on Monday.

The agreement formalises some of the colleges’ existing work together and is said to help them all effectively prepare for the arrangements of their proposal to merge the colleges in April next year.

After 17 years at the Havering College of Further and Higher Education, including six as principal, Maria Thompson has made the decision to step down from her post.

Paul Wakeling, principal and chief executive of Havering Sixth Form College has taken on the role of interim principal of Havering College alongside his current role.

Group principal and chief executive of New City College Gerry McDonald will be interim chief executive of Havering College of Further and Higher Education.

Mr Wakeling said: “Since the creation of the Sixth Form College in 1991, the two Havering Colleges have worked in partnership to ensure that the young people of our borough are guaranteed a place for their post 16 education.

“We are delighted, therefore, that when HCFHE was looking for a merger partner, we, in conjunction with NCC, were chosen as the preferred partners.

“We see this as the natural extension of an already strong working relationship and we are convinced that together we can provide excellent academic, technical and professional education and training, combined with high levels of support.

“During the period of federation and if the merger goes ahead, students at both colleges will continue with their study programmes with no requirement to move between campuses for the duration of their programmes.”

The formal consultation on the merge will take place later this year, with a view to merging on April 1, 2019.

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