College to explore opportunities for strategic alliance

The Governing Bodies of three of London’s leading Further Education colleges are delighted to announce they have agreed to explore opportunities to work together in a strategic alliance. City of Westminster College, College of North West London and Kensington and Chelsea College are looking to build on their existing links and individual strengths.

The aim is to deliver the highest quality education and training opportunities for students and employers together, across central and west London and beyond. By exploring potential next steps towards a formal strategic alliance, each college sees real benefits on which they can build to ensure even greater collective success; and to make their shared vision for a world-class skills offer for London a reality.

The strategic collaboration will seek common ground with a wide range of stakeholders, and may develop to include further colleges in order fully to realise the ambitions for our communities.

Over the coming months, the colleges will discuss how the collaboration will evolve and through consultation with stakeholders they will ensure the needs of the region are met. At the heart of the alliance is the commitment for each College to work together collegiately towards meeting the Government’s ambition of higher level technical and vocational skills and education, including the potential establishment of Institutes of Technology. This will ensure Central and West London has the Centres of Excellence its economy needs,which build on the strengths of the group in the Creative Arts, Computing Technology, Engineering and Construction sectors. This will provide a sustainable long term future and the best opportunities for our students.

It is a commitment to providing quality education and training for all, serving the City of Westminster, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Borough of Brent and covering much of central and west London. The combined provision will put the group at the forefront of London’s skills system and provide a model for how colleges work together successfully in the capital.

The Chairs of the three colleges* today issued a joint statement:-

“We are tremendously excited about the potential for developing closer collaboration across the three colleges. For us, it means developing innovative ways of delivering exceptional training to our students, which builds on our collective strengths and seeks out new partnership opportunities across London. At the heart of our intention is to do what is best for each and every student.”

“We firmly believe this collaboration has the potential to create a sustainable, high quality offering to students, providing them with leading provision and addressing key skills shortages in the capital and nationally. All three colleges have excellent links with major national companies and have strong connections with locally-based employers and together offer to students what is probably the broadest range of employment opportunities in key British industries in the Capital.”

Based on 2014-15 figures, the combined colleges together enrol 28,000 students, of which 4,200 will be aged 16-19 and 2,900 will be apprentices, with a combined total income of £62,000,000.

*Jan Knight, Chair of Corporation, College of North West London; Nick Martin, Chair of Corporation, City of Westminster College; Naraindra Maharaj, Chair of Corporation, Kensington and Chelsea College