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Lewisham Southwark College to join Newcastle-based FE group

London SE1 website team

Southwark's troubled further education college is to merge with a Newcastle-based group this summer.

Lewisham Southwark College to join Newcastle-based FE group

Lewisham Southwark College – which has a brand-new building on The Cut in Waterloo – will become part of NCG, the further education consortium led by Newcastle College, in August this year.

"The governors of Lewisham Southwark College are delighted the college will be joining NCG, ensuring that we can remain a local college but with national reach," said chairman Chris Bilsland.

"The college will have the benefit of access to a huge range of expertise in areas such as apprenticeships and higher education as well as further education.

"At the same time, joining a like-minded organisation with an Ofsted 'good' rating will support us in continuing to improve the quality of our provision."

Principal Carole Kitching – who joined Lewisham Southwark College from Newcastle College – added: "We will continue to determine our own curriculum in response to local need, with NCG's full backing for growth and development. the college will maintain a high degree of autonomy through the powers delegated to a local college board.

"NCG fully shares our commitment to putting learners and the community first and offers us a very strong and positive future."

The merger was opposed by Southwark Council. In its formal response to the merger consultation, the local authority said: "Southwark Council does not support a merger of Lewisham and Southwark College with the Newcastle College Group, as in the council's view the best interests of Southwark's learners are served by a local solution involving merger with another London provider."

Confirmation of the deal between Lewisham Southwark College and NCG comes as neighbouring Lambeth College develops formal links with London South Bank University.

At a recent Southwark cabinet meeting the council leader indicated that the LSBU tie-up with Lambeth College was likely to lead to some FE activity taking place in Southwark at LSBU's Elephant & Castle campus.

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