TWO OF EAST LONDON’S COLLEGES OUTLINE A NEW VISION TO SECURE EDUCATIONAL AND CAREER OPPORTUNITIES FOR LOCAL PEOPLE FOR YEARS TO COME
Two of east London’s largest further education colleges have today announced proposals which would see both colleges working more closely together in order to secure the educational and career opportunities for people living in east London for years to come.
Hackney Community College, based in Shoreditch, and Tower Hamlets College, based at Poplar, have published a joint consultation paper outlining options for closer collaboration between the two colleges. This could see them merging, working in a federation or a formal partnership.
The new vision for closer collaboration is focused on securing opportunities for their local communities, enabling local people to participate in education, benefit from broader curriculum offers and gain the skills they need to progress. Employers and businesses could equally benefit from a larger college offer which is both adaptable in its curriculum and able to train more students to compete for and fill the jobs being created in east London.
They are now seeking responses from students, schools, employers, businesses, staff and government funding agencies on the proposals. Other post 16 education and training providers are also being asked about whether they are interested in linking up with the collaboration and in what timescale. Final decisions on the scale and shape of any collaboration will be taken early next year.
Hackney and Tower Hamlets Colleges have over 15,000 students between them, making them significant education providers in east London for young people and adult learners. Both are rated as Good colleges by Ofsted, and share aspirations to become outstanding colleges with strong records of success across complementary course offers.
Closer collaboration between the two colleges is driven by a range of factors including financial pressures on the further education sector, due to reductions in government funding over the last few years, which could put at risk the educational and career opportunities for local people and the business and employer need for recruiting the skilled workers they need.
Both colleges also share an adjoining geography and have complementary curriculums and work in key industry sectors in east London, including financial services, IT, digital and creative media and also work with City of London and Canary Wharf businesses, the Olympic Park and Tech City as well as widely across both boroughs.
Speaking ahead of the consultation, Tom Mautner, Chair of Governors at Hackney Community College said;
“This potential collaboration recognises and can build on the strengths of our two colleges, which are both such important institutions in our communities. It can help deliver the vision of strong, successful and stable provision meeting the economic success and cohesion of our local area.”
Professor Martin Earwicker, Chair of Governors at Tower Hamlets College said:
“This partnership is a strong, strategic move and offers such great potential to ensure success, working across our shared geography. We are very excited by this opportunity.”
Separately today, Tower Hamlets College has also published a consultation on plans to merge with Redbridge College to form a new college next year. It is envisaged that any merger with Redbridge would take place in advance of organisational links between Hackney Community College and Tower Hamlets College.
1. Tower Hamlets College is a large further education college with two sites at Poplar, next to Canary Wharf and in Stepney, close to the City of London. The college was rated as a good college with outstanding features in January 2014. It offers a comprehensive range of courses for under 19s and adult learners along with a range of apprenticeships.
2. Hackney Community College is the largest provider of academic, vocational and leisure education in the London Borough of Hackney. Its curriculum is designed to meet the needs of employers in local boroughs, Tech City, and the City of London, developing its provision proactively and in response to priority skills needs of local communities and employers. The college has one campus, in Shoreditch at the heart of Tech City, and it also delivers courses and training across many community venues and in employers’ premises. It has seen significant growth in apprenticeship numbers and is currently developing an apprenticeship training centre on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
3. Responses to the consultation can be given at http://www.hackney.ac.uk/about/the-college/collaboration-consultation/