Kensington and Chelsea College plans to increase the number of students in North Kensington – with modern facilities for both school-leavers and adults.
The Wornington Road campus is a former school building which is too large for the college and lacks the high-quality accommodation enjoyed by many colleges around the country.
The plan is to replace the facilities on-site or nearby, still allowing space for increased student numbers and potentially more courses. The college will consider whether to add new courses as part of its ongoing consultation with local residents.
The college is making arrangements to ensure continuity for students during the transition to new accommodation. It has identified a number of options, including remaining on the Wornington Road site or a new home in the immediate neighbourhood.
The college remains committed to staying in North Kensington where demand remains strong for student places.
Michele Sutton CBE, Interim Principal of the college, said: “The building at Wornington Road has served the college well for many years but even the most nostalgic among us would agree that the facilities could be improved.
“We are staying put in the neighbourhood but we need to ensure that our students are enjoying the kind of environment they deserve when they come to college.”
The college also has a campus at Hortensia Road, Chelsea, and is well-known for its creative courses. It is the leading provider of 16-18 and adult education in the borough and draws students from across London and beyond – particularly from the surrounding boroughs.
It has courses in a range of subjects including art, design, fashion, millinery, photography, music production, humanities, hair and beauty, teacher training, child care, health, print and accounting.
These are taught from beginners’ level up to specialist access to higher education courses which allow students to progress to university. Other students progress directly from the college to employment in their chosen field, and many have gone on to work for famous brands.
The college has close ties with world-famous Portobello Market near its North Kensington campus while its Chelsea campus is very close to the Kings Road.
The college’s decision to improve its North Kensington facilities follows similar developments taking place around the country, including London, to improve the buildings used by further education colleges. Improved facilities, as well as proving popular with students, have also been linked to increased success rates.
Mrs Sutton, a former president of the Association of Colleges, said: “There’s been a lot of great work on improving the further education estate across the county.
“It’s really time that the community in North Kensington enjoyed facilities which match those we already have down in Chelsea.
“I know from my experience across the FE sector that, while its good teaching that counts most, everyone does better in good modern facilities that are inspirational not just to existing students but also those thinking of studying with us in the future.”
We are aware of some concerns in the community about the continuity of college provision in North Kensington following the sale of the Wornington Road Building to RKBC.
The sale of the property to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea was a good deal which enables the college to reinvest in good study facilities in line with similar improvements in colleges across England.
The borough is supporting the college in seeking a property in to which to decant whilst the new building is constructed – within 15 minutes’ walk of Ladbroke Grove tube
The college will have the option to move back to the site.
The college will remain in the Wornington Road Building at least until July 2018
The college is committed to ensuring that there will continue to be provision for the people of North Kensington – including after our anticipated merger.
The college has prioritised:
Improved disabled access
Modern teaching facilities
Improved communal areas
Greater environmental efficiency
The college will hold a community event at Wornington Road on June 29 from 3pm to 6pm to give people the opportunity to meet staff and share their views about the future of the college’s provision in North Kensington.
It will also be conducting a survey of people’s motivations for coming to college – to help inform decisions about which courses are provided – and increasing its presence in the community more generally.
Date published: 18 April 2017