Further Education: Mergers

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 23rd May 2016.

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Photo of Roger Godsiff Roger Godsiff Labour, Birmingham, Hall Green

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment his Department has undertaken of the potential (a) costs and benefits and (b) effect on equality of merging further education colleges.

Photo of Nicholas Boles Nicholas Boles The Minister for Universities and Science, Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Jointly with the Department for Education)

We funded an independent further education adviser to undertake an assessment of mergers undertaken by the sector since 1992 in 2015. The results of the assessment were shared with the sector and are available here (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/current-models-of-collaboration-post-14-further-education). That demonstrated that mergers could deliver significant benefits but that effective leadership and management of structural change was an essential part of ensuring the full benefits were realised as quickly as possible.

In respect of the effect of mergers on equalities, further education colleges are independent corporations and it is for each college governing body to assess the impact of changes on groups protected by the Equalities Act 2010 and to take that assessment into account when making decisions around mergers.

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