Gorleston and North Walsham sixth-form colleges ready to merge

 East Norfolk Sixth Form College election hustings.Picture: James Bass

East Norfolk Sixth Form College election hustings.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Two of the county's biggest colleges are set to merge under new proposals.

A decision has been made by governors at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, in Gorleston, and Paston Sixth Form College, in North Walsham, to unite in an attempt to improve both facilities.

The colleges already share knowledge and expertise in terms of teaching, learning and the delivery of curriculum.

However, under the merger, this will be enhanced further through sport, drama, volunteering, work experience, trips and more.

A public consultation is to be held to give people the chance to express their views about the potential merger in March.

If it goes ahead, it is expected the merger will be completed ahead of the next academic year, in August.

Nicola Lucking, chair of corporation at Paston Sixth Form College, said: 'Both colleges have a strong tradition and ethos, providing an outstanding experience for all students.

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'Current partnership work and further development will allow us to improve our provision and enhance the range of opportunities for students.

Lorna Anderson, chair of governors at East Norfolk, added: 'East Norfolk and Paston share a clear vision for the future in terms of working together and becoming outstanding.'

Paston Sixth Form College has around 700 pupils, and East Norfolk Sixth Form College has around 1,750.

It is uncertain as to what effect the merger will have on jobs at both colleges and whether the merged college would have one principal or two.

Kevin Grieve, principal at Paston College, said: 'This is an opportunity to move our curriculum forward making sure we use the expertise and knowledge of both colleges in a range of areas.'

Do you have any education stories? Email Martin.George@archant.co.uk