Colleges plan to merge

29 July 2010, 08:46 | Updated: 29 July 2010, 11:05

Two of Gloucestershire's colleges are in talks to merge.

Governors at the Royal Forest of Dean College and Gloucestershire College have agreed to start talks to create the largest further education college in Gloucestershire.

Gloucestershire College have released this statement:

Gloucestershire College was approached by representatives of the Royal Forest of Dean College in May of this year following public sector funding cuts which mean that many small rural colleges are no longer financially viable.

To secure long term vocational education in the Forest, the college needed to secure a merger with a financially strong partner. Gloucestershire College is in the fortunate position of in the fortunate position of being financially sound with a new estate and growing student numbers.

The two colleges will complement each other; both are general further education colleges with excellent vocational and academic provision, both rated by Ofsted as “Good” colleges with a number of “Outstanding” features.

Greg Smith, Principal of Gloucestershire College, told Heart more about the plans:

Listen to Greg Smith

The merger is unlikely to be completed before early to mid 2011, following a significant consultation period and approval from the Secretary of State.