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

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 - Credit: Archant

Two Norfolk colleges could be merged by Christmas, despite a consultation into the move showing mixed reaction.

The outcome of the consultation into plans to combine Paston Sixth Form College (PSFC), in North Walsham, and City College Norwich (CCN) showed that, of 159 respondents, 51pc were in favour of the move and 43pc were against, with 4pc undecided.

In a response to the consultation results - which says the aimed completion date for the merger is December 1 - the colleges moved to reassure communities on key concerns.

Matt Colmer, chairman of CCN corporation, and Nicola Lucking, chairman of PSFC corporation, said: 'We have listened to the positive, negative and neutral comments and all the advice given, which will help to shape our future plans for the merger and the new institution going forward.

Kevin Grieve, principal at Paston Sixth Form College, and Corienne Peasgood, principal of City Colle

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

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'It is important that we continue to listen to your views and both principals will therefore make themselves available to meet stakeholders and members of the public who wish to talk through our merger proposals.'

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The document said the Paston College Foundation will work closely with the merged institution 'to preserve [Paston's] strong heritage, identity and reputation', and it confirmed there were no plans to sell its the Lawns or the Griffons sites.

It also said that students would only have to travel between sites in a 'very small minority of subjects'.

MORE: Norfolk MP Norman Lamb criticises proposed merger of colleges

Paston teachers and tutors will remain based in North Walsham, though the document said 'through economies of scale there will be efficiencies, including some necessary redundancies'.

The response also said that, 'subject to the satisfactory completion of legal and financial due diligence', the colleges will seek to achieve the merger on December 1.

Corrienne Peasgood, principal of CCN, said: 'Both institutions have a strong history and it is our aim to maintain, develop and celebrate their individual strengths and specialisms following the merger. After completion, we strongly believe the wider choice of courses and increased progression routes available will provide even more opportunities for young people to achieve their individual aspirations in north-east Norfolk.'

Of the respondents, 26pc were staff or corporation members, 20pc students or former students, 15pc parents, 7.5pc employers or local firms, 5.5pc local residents and 26pc described themselves as other.

To see the full document, click here.

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