The governing bodies of Morley College London and Kensington and Chelsea College can confirm that they are working towards merger. The Morley resolution today (20 March) follows the decision by the Kensington and Chelsea College Governing Body (4 March) to adopt Morley as its preferred partner. Merger would lead to the colleges joining together as Morley College London, with three main centres in North Kensington, Chelsea and Waterloo.
The proposed merger is designed to secure and improve the Wornington Road North Kensington Centre after years of uncertainty about its future, while maintaining and developing provision at college centres in Chelsea and Waterloo.
Stuart Edwards, Chair of Governors of Morley College London, said: “Morley College London and Kensington and Chelsea share the same values. We are committed to the learning needs of our local communities. Both colleges have a proud record of serving learners in their boroughs and beyond. This heritage is greatly respected and will be built upon for the future, with investment and new courses to meet people’s aspirations for personal development and career success. We believe that by working together we can offer an educational framework within which community aspirations can be fostered.”
Ian Valvona, Chair of Governors of Kensington and Chelsea College, said: “Kensington and Chelsea College has found the right merger partner in Morley College London. We believe there is a good curriculum fit between the two colleges and there is no doubt that together we will be stronger financially as we look to the future. Progressing together, the focus will be on high quality teaching and learning and the student experience, whilst nurturing our most valuable asset – our staff – and delivering for the local communities of North Kensington and Chelsea.”
The centres at North Kensington and at Chelsea will provide courses for 16-18 year-olds to enable progression through to advanced and higher-level study alongside a progressive, flexible and creative adult education curriculum portfolio comprising daytime, evening and weekend delivery of accredited and non-accredited courses. Information, advice and guidance will be available to encourage next steps in learning and support positive destinations to employment and apprenticeships. The well-established Waterloo Centre on Westminster Bridge Road will continue just as it does today.
Andrew Gower, Principal of Morley, said: “In the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, we recognise and respect the longstanding special significance of the college centre at Wornington Road for local residents. We are committed to ensuring the centres at North Kensington, Chelsea and Waterloo reflect the needs of the communities they serve. The merged college will deliver a major contribution to each objective of the Mayor’s Skills for Londoners Strategy, ensuring the needs of the local communities are met by a responsive and growing curriculum offer. We are committed to 16 to 18 provision, and will look to grow the offer at North Kensington Centre on Wornington Road, and consult widely with the local community as an essential part of the merger process.”
Andy Cole, Principal of Kensington and Chelsea College, said: “In the past 12 months I have been privileged to meet with so many people dedicated to working with passion and commitment in the best interests of our college and our communities. The North Kensington area, in particular, has a reputation for innovative partnership, and of welcoming the input of all for the betterment of all. I am therefore excited to see the positive contribution that Morley College London will make, with its proud tradition of community engagement, to securing and enhancing provision for our communities throughout the Borough.”