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West London colleges merger plan 'will benefit students and staff'

The move could become reality in early 2018

The Hammersmith campus of Ealing Hamersmith and West London College(Image: UGC TMS)

Two west London colleges will merge, in what they say is a move which will benefit students and staff.

Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College (EHWLC) and Kensington & Chelsea College have announced that they are starting a process to merge the two institutions in order to broaden the opportunities available to learners and help meet the future needs of employers across the region.

EHWLC has four sites in Southall, Acton, Ealing and Hammersmith, while K&C College has bases in Kensington and Chelsea.

Under the move, both colleges will retain their existing sites and names.

They claim the newly-formed college would be in a strong position to “deliver the high standards of education and skills that local employers want in their future workforce”.

EHWLC chief executive, Garry Phillips, said: “We are truly excited about the benefits a partnership with Kensington and Chelsea College will bring for both students and businesses in the area.

“The combined strengths of these two organisations will offer students an exciting spectrum of educational and training opportunities – including the chance to progress on to higher level apprenticeships and degree courses.

Kensington and Chelsea College site in Wornington Road, North Kensington(Image: Google)

“This will prepare students for the very best chance of career success, help secure the future of further education across London and make a significant contribution to the economic development of our region.”

Michele Sutton CBE, interim principal of K&C College, said: “We are delighted to be able to announce the agreement to enter into this merger with a very strong, well-respected and successful neighbouring college.

“This announcement is the result of a long and careful process to ensure the best future for students of all ages in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, ensuring good provision in the borough while at the same time drawing on the resources of a larger organisation.

Ealing Hammersmith and West London College

“We are looking forward to working closely together as this merger takes shape over the coming months and ensuring a smooth transition.”

Staff at EHWLC went on strike in June in a row over job losses.

Matthew Cookson is the EHWLC University and College Union (UCU) representative.

He said the union would be keeping a close watch: “If it leads to detrimental changes that will mean a response from us but we’ve been assured that this will not be the case.”

A period of formal public consultation will commence in the autumn, with the newly-merged institution expected to launch early in 2018.

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