Consultation shows support for merger of Great Yarmouth College, Lowestoft College and Lowestoft Sixth Form
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016
Plans for three coastal colleges to merge won the backing of more than half the people who took part in a consultation, but many raised concerns about travel.
Great Yarmouth College, Lowestoft College and Lowestoft Sixth Form announced plans to create the East Coast Colleges Group in January, after a government review said it was the only way to make necessary savings.
A total of 104 people took part in a consultation, with 57 agreeing the merger would allow the colleges to 'more effectively meet the needs of Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft's students, communities and employers'. 26 people disagreed.
Advantages highlighted included reduced competition and duplication, economies of scale, and allowing staff to share expertise.
However, a document summarising the consultation responses said 'the vast majority of concerns raised' were related to transport.
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One person wrote: 'If we are required to transfer and move around transport costs will be more expensive and not fair on us, as we are limited on pay.'
The colleges said they were committed to supporting students who already travel to college, and courses would remain the same for current students, and those due to join them in September 2016.
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They said: 'All three institutions will continue to carefully review all travel to learn study patterns on a regular basis and will look to provide any appropriate support as needed.'
In response to worries A-level provision in Lowestoft could suffer, they said they wanted to 'preserve and expand the excellent academic and A-level provision of Lowestoft Sixth Form College'.
They also said the chairman elect of the new body was David Edwards, ex-chairman of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust.
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