Selby College & Wakefield College
Working together, stronger together...
Countdown to Merger - 1st March, 2022
‘Heart of Yorkshire Education Group’ preparing to launch
Following the Secretary of State’s approval, Selby College and Wakefield College are delighted to confirm that their plans to form a new combined group are progressing on schedule, with the merger date confirmed as 1st March 2022.
On Wednesday 23rd June, Selby College and Wakefield College announced our intention to merge with a statement from our Chairs of Governors and our Principals.
We are delighted to launch this microsite to provide all stakeholders of both colleges with information as to how the merger is progressing.
Our new college group will serve the education and skills needs of residents and employers from their campuses in Castleford, Selby and Wakefield with a wider range of courses and apprenticeships at all levels and enhanced support for all.
We believe this is a natural partnership - our two colleges already have closely aligned strategic visions, missions and values, and our joint aim is to provide an outstanding experience for all. We recognise the special place both Selby and Wakefield Colleges have for people in their local communities, and we want to maintain and enhance this. Furthermore, by combining our strengths under a powerful group structure, we will be able to accelerate our growth and deliver the best possible educational outcomes, as well as additional benefits.
The merger will facilitate some exciting new developments and, together, we will offer a wider range of courses and apprenticeships at all levels, including additional higher education pathways, increased support for our students and extended services for employers. There is a strong geographical coherence in both organisations working together to serve key employers along the M62 corridor, in West Yorkshire, in North Yorkshire and the East Riding, including Goole.
A key priority during the merger process will be to minimise disruption by ensuring a seamless transition period, and there will be no change to students’ or apprentices’ chosen place of study.
Next steps and further information
We are working towards a merger date of 1st March 2022 and we will be launching a formal consultation process in October to take the views of stakeholders of both colleges.
We’ll be regularly posting information on this site regarding the timeline for the merger and updates on developments, as well as details about our forthcoming statutory consultation and how you can provide your views and feedback on our plans.
We believe that the local people, the employers and the communities we serve deserve the very best from their local college. At the same time, we want to ensure we have a strong and sustainable future. We believe that by merging, we will be stronger together as a group. We will be better placed to continue to provide excellent education and training that positively impacts on individuals’ lives in our local communities of Selby, Castleford and Wakefield.The merger will also create a much larger college entity, which will mean more funding and the ability to invest in developing our offer to benefit students and apprentices across a wide geographical area.
As a new, combined institution, we will continue to share proven expertise in quality improvement, ensuring that students across our communities can access a high-quality learning experience with excellent standards of support. As a result, our students and apprentices will get an even broader experience, more of them will stay and progress on to their next course with us (including enhanced higher education options) and enjoy their learning. We will also provide an enhanced student experience and additional opportunities for enrichment. In planning future courses, we will widen our offer at all campuses, and will run classes and courses where there is a clear need and a demand.
We will be a larger college group, stronger financially, with more funding and the ability to invest further in our students and their experience at college. We will take the very best practice from both colleges and combine it to enhance students’ experiences inside the classroom and outside. We believe this will result in better results for our students, improved progression opportunities and career enhancement.
In practical terms, for our students, very little will change. There will be no difference to where students study – they will continue to be a student where they currently learn. Our staff who currently engage with our students, both teaching and support staff, will stay the same, and courses will continue as planned. There will be no disruption or interruption to the delivery of provision and there will be no requirement for students to travel to different campuses for curriculum/classes. There may be occasions where it would be beneficial to offer opportunities that engage the wider college community - to enhance the student experience, enrichment, inter-college sport, master classes or guest speakers etc. In this case, we would ensure transport is provided.
Whilst we have proposed a new name for our new and combined group as a whole, Heart of Yorkshire Education Group, our individual colleges will remain and will continue to serve the specific and distinct needs of our local communities. Therefore, our students will continue to think of themselves as a Selby College student, a Wakefield College student or a Castleford College student.
Employers and External Partners
We believe this is a natural partnership - our two colleges already have closely aligned strategic visions, missions and values, and our joint aim is to provide an outstanding experience for all. We recognise the special place both Selby and Wakefield Colleges have for people in their local communities, and we want to maintain and enhance this. Furthermore, by combining our strengths under a powerful group structure, we will be able to accelerate our growth and deliver the best possible educational outcomes, as well as additional benefits. Skills development will be critical to the region’s recovery from Covid-19 and we are committed to combining our expertise to support our residents and employers in reskilling and upskilling to respond to and anticipate labour market needs.
A key priority during the merger process will be to minimize disruption by ensuring a seamless transition period, and there will be no change to students’ or apprentices’ chosen place of study. In addition, your key contacts will remain constant, as will assessing and teaching arrangements and work experience programmes.
The merger will facilitate some exciting new developments. With an annual turnover of £35m, the new group will serve more than a thousand employers with apprenticeship provision and work-related training and will be able to provide enhanced levels of service and extended pathways into higher levels. There is also a strong geographical coherence in both organisations working together to serve key employers along the M62 corridor, in West Yorkshire, in North Yorkshire and the East Riding.
We will work with and engage employers effectively by consulting on all aspects of what we do, identifying industry best practice and planning our curriculum and delivery models based on their requirements. Employers will also benefit from access to a wider employer engagement support team, resulting in enhanced levels of responsiveness and improved service levels. Taking into account the curriculum strategies for both colleges and opportunities to improve on business engagement activities, the merged college would be in a strong position to grow employer-led provision, by growing apprenticeships and higher-level professional and technical education. At the same time, our students will benefit from wider opportunities for work experience, live briefs, competitive projects and entrepreneurial ventures.
Both Selby and Wakefield Colleges already work effectively with a wide variety of stakeholders and partners and are integral hubs within their local communities. We will continue to play a key role in addressing social exclusion, working with disadvantaged individuals and raising aspirations by providing inclusive opportunities and high levels of support. We will continue to work effectively with our local partner schools to ensure clear progression pathways and opportunities for all. As a larger organisation, we believe we will be able to provide our local stakeholders with an even greater voice.
As a combined group we will have greater capacity to engage nationally and regionally with partners and stakeholders, in order to bring greater benefits to our local communities. We will develop provision to meet national and local priorities for growing apprenticeships and higher-level professional and technical education to support economic growth and prosperity. We will also continue to support individuals into employment, or to upskill and advance their careers. The merger will enhance our ability and capacity to respond to government policy and regional strategies, as well as continuing to further build on our strong relationships within the Selby and Wakefield Districts.
Draft resolution to Dissolve Selby College Further Education Corporation on 1 March 2022
In the meantime, if you have any queries or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using the form below.