Newton Rigg College

Department for Education written question – answered on 14th June 2021.

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Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Labour, Brent North

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason the Cumbria Area Review published in 2017, omitted Newton Rigg from the lists and tables of Further Education and Sixth Form Colleges in the county; and what plans he has for the future of Newton Rigg.

Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Newton Rigg Campus is part of Askham Bryan College Corporation, has no separate legal identity and was therefore out of scope of the Cumbria area based review. As the campus is part of Askham Bryan College, they were included in the wave 4; York, North Yorkshire, East Riding and Hull area-based review, which commenced in September 2016. This approach was consistent with the broad principles of area-based reviews in that colleges should be formal members of only one area review steering group.

The Further Education Commissioner and Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) carried out a comprehensive analysis of local provision needs for Newton Rigg and the surrounding area in 2020. The core objective of this analysis was to establish if there was a need for college provision within the general vicinity of the Newton Rigg campus. It considered the location of neighbouring further education (FE) colleges in relation to travel-to-learn options and identified that most enrolments could be accommodated at other statutory FE institutions.

In total, 286 16 to 18 year old students were enrolled onto land-based further education courses at Newton Rigg, of which 70 were in residential accommodation. Where gaps in provision were identified, specifically agricultural provision, alternative arrangements for the next academic year have been agreed with Myerscough College, in partnership with Ullswater Community College, to ensure continuity of delivery of this provision in the Penrith area after Newton Rigg closes.

If further evidence of gaps in provision are highlighted as a result of the closure of Newton Rigg in support of local authorities’ statutory duty to secure provision in an area, the ESFA will consider requests to fill a gap in provision. Where this cannot be met through negotiation with good existing providers the requirements are put out to tender through open competition.

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