What is a college merger?
This merger is the combining of Palmer’s College and Seevic College to create one College.
This will be a college based on a merger of equals, bringing the best of both existing colleges to be ‘stronger together’. Following careful consideration of the best way to achieve a timely merger with minimal costs and disruption to our core business, it is proposed that this is a type B merger. This means one of the existing colleges’ corporations will dissolve and join with the other. It is proposed that Palmer’s College, which is designated as a sixth form college, dissolves and joins with Seevic College Corporation to form ‘Seevic & Palmer’s Colleges Group’ (subject to approval by the Secretary of State).
The key driver in reaching this proposal is that Seevic College is already designated as a general Further Education college, with a broader remit into Apprenticeships and Higher Education. The merger is based upon a plan of providing this wider mission.
Why are Palmer’s College and Seevic College merging?
Both existing Colleges have considered the best options to ensure a successful and secure college to serve the communities of South Essex and Thurrock. By coming together the merged college can provide a broad range of academic and professional courses, alongside Apprenticeships for young people.
Both colleges see the merger as an opportunity to maintain the brands of existing colleges, creating a dynamic, innovative and high-quality college. A merger of Palmer’s College and Seevic College would have a prime focus on ensuring both academic and professional pathways for young people into university, Apprenticeships and employment.
In recent years, the college sector has seen a reduction in public funds and an increase in competition. A merger will support the colleges in securing financial sustainability, enabling efficiencies in management and support services, whilst providing for greater investment in teaching and learning, the curriculum and student support.
What form will this consultation take?
The Corporation is keen to hear views on these proposals to dissolve Palmer’s Corporation and join with Seevic Corporation. The consultation ran from 23 March until 30 April. Following this in June, a summary of the consultation feedback was published.
How will this affect students?
No current students will be affected by these proposals. All students will be able to complete their courses at either Palmer’s College or Seevic College and will not be expected to travel between the sites.
For September 2017 all courses, subject to demand, will run as planned at the Palmer’s College or Seevic College campuses. Students will enrol for a course at either Palmer’s College or Seevic College and will not be expected to travel between sites.
It will be ‘business as usual’ for students.
These proposals are intended to provide increased opportunities for current and prospective students. It will allow students to choose from a wider range of subjects, including progression into Apprenticeships and Higher Education. Both colleges are determined to provide even higher standards of teaching and learning.
How will this affect the colleges’ partners?
Both colleges enjoy partnerships with schools, colleges, universities and local authorities and employers.
The merged college will continue to have strong working links with local schools, colleges, universities, training providers and employers.
Working through these important partnerships helps us to ensure we can meet the needs of employers, local authorities, current and future students. We aim to continue to develop and improve relationships with our partners.
How will this affect the community?
This proposal is designed to provide greater choices for young people for their post-16 learning and increased investment in teaching, learning and facilities.
By remaining as two college campuses with two distinct brands and identities, we will seek to build and strengthen relationships with local schools and the local authorities. By working together we can secure the best outcomes and opportunities for young people and their families in Thurrock and across South Essex.
What is the proposed name of the merged college?
We intend to retain the names of Palmer’s College and Seevic College for each campus. From 1 August 2017, we will use the trading name ‘Seevic & Palmer’s Colleges Group’ in advance of receiving approval from the Secretary of State.
What is the timeline?
This consultation began on Thursday 23 March 2017 and ran until the end of April 2017.
In June 2017, the colleges published a summary of responses from the consultation.
The merger was completed on 1 August 2017.
How can I have my say?
We want to hear your views. If you would like to send us your feedback on the merger, please download our Consultation Response Form, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online form. You will receive a response within 5 working days.
If you have any further queries or questions please do not hesitate to contact us via email at: email@example.com. Our consultation process aims to be clear and detailed to ensure everyone is kept informed and given their chance to have their say about this proposal.