Norfolk’s new super college will have 6,000 students after merger
- Credit: Archant © 2006
The leader of what will soon be Norfolk's biggest college says she is aware of its responsibility towards its thousands of students.
City College Norwich (CCN) is set to merger with the Norfolk campus of Easton and Otley College, which announced on Tuesday that it would be splitting its campuses and merging them with other local further education providers following critical Ofsted reports.
The resulting organisation will be the largest education provider for 16- to 18-year-olds in Norfolk, with close to 6,000 students across City, Paston and Easton colleges.
The Otley campus will become part of Suffolk New College in Ipswich.
Corrienne Peasgood, principal at CCN, said: "We recognise that it is a huge responsibility. We have to provide the courses that Norwich and central Norfolk need and we have to make sure all those areas we provide are of really high quality.
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"Students and their parents will understandably be concerned, but we are absolutely committed that students who are enrolled or are enrolling in September 2019 will enrol on those courses and progress on to the courses that they were going to progress on to."
Conversations about the Easton and Otley College break-up began after a report by the further education commissioner in February recommended the college conducted a review of its structure and prospects, particularly in regard to its "land-based" courses.
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Ms Peasgood said CCN had talked with other education providers to start building a plan to address the college's problems.
"The provision delivered at Easton is only about 50pc land-based. The areas of the curriculum that are non land-based, such as sports, public services, construction and special educational needs provision, are all really strong areas of provision for us," she said.
"One of the criticisms of the teaching was based on the fact that the college had struggled to recruit specialist staff. That is not an unknown problem for us.
"We want to work with managers and staff at Easton from the earliest possible opportunity to support teaching recruitment, retention and development."
Ms Peasgood added that the merger could bring opportunities for higher education, with City College and Easton and Otley offering degree courses accredited by the University of East Anglia.