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Merger of two Norfolk colleges will go ahead on December 1 - and one principal will step down

PUBLISHED: 17:05 28 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:05 28 November 2017

City College Norwich and Paston Sixth Form College. Picture: Keith Whitmore/Antony Kelly

City College Norwich and Paston Sixth Form College. Picture: Keith Whitmore/Antony Kelly

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A proposed merger of two colleges in Norfolk is to go ahead on December 1 - with one principal set to step down.

Kevin Grieve, principal at Paston Sixth Form College, and Corienne Peasgood, principal of City College Norwich. Picture: FOUR Agency Kevin Grieve, principal at Paston Sixth Form College, and Corienne Peasgood, principal of City College Norwich. Picture: FOUR Agency

A consultation into plans to merge Paston Sixth Form College (PSFC), in North Walsham, and City College Norwich (CCN) was announced in May.

MORE: Norfolk MP criticises proposed merger between Norwich and North Walsham colleges

Now, the colleges have confirmed that both sets of governing bodies approved the merger, which will come into effect from Friday, December 1.

Results of the consultation presented a mixed picture, with 51pc saying they were in favour of the move, and 43pc against.

Corrienne Peasgood, principal at CCN, will become principal of the merged colleges and Kevin Grieve, current principal at PSFC, will step down.

She said: “Bringing together Paston’s rich history and reputation for academic excellence with CCN’s outstanding breadth and quality of vocational, adult and higher education, marks the beginning of a significant new chapter for everyone connected with both colleges.

MORE: Results of consultation into merger of City College Norwich and Paston Sixth Form College show mixed reaction

“Most importantly, our merger will expand education and training opportunities for learners and employers in north Norfolk.”

It follows a trend of colleges working together to make financial savings, and, at the time of the announcement, the colleges said they may have to consider staffing levels.

An opening day event will be held at the renamed Paston College on the day, at which the college says it will “continue the ongoing dialogue” with students, staff, parents and employers about priorities for the colleges.

The merger has been criticised by North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, who described it as a “crying shame”, and parents concerned that PSFC will lose its identity.

MORE: Proposal for merger between Norwich and North Walsham colleges to offer greater choice of courses

Mr Grieve: “Paston College will continue to go from strength to strength after the merger building on its excellent reputation in the community.

“It is an exciting time for the new organisation and everyone can expect development of the curriculum and more opportunities for staff and students.”

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