In September 2015, the Corporation at Prior Pursglove College resolved to hold a comprehensive and in-depth consultation around a proposal to merge with Stockton Sixth Form College. You can find all relevant updates regarding the merger below.
1st May 2016 – Merger finalised
It is with great pleasure that the governors of Prior Pursglove and Stockton Sixth Form Colleges announce their historic merger into a single entity, maintaining their current distinct sites in Guisborough and Stockton. Our merger as two equal partners is the first of its kind in the sixth form college sector for eighteen years.
Operating in a challenging environment in terms of reduced levels of funding and increasing competition, this innovative and forward thinking approach will allow us to continue to fulfil our vision of providing high-quality education and life-changing experiences to young people and adults across the Tees Valley.
We firmly believe in the benefits a merged college will produce for current and prospective students, staff, local employers and other stakeholders within our communities.
The government’s Area Based Review of Post-16 Education in the Tees Valley is demonstrating the value of colleges working together across the region. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to continue to develop our reputation as one of the region’s most successful colleges.
Joanna Bailey, Principal, Prior Pursglove and Stockton Sixth Form College
22nd January 2016 – Summary of the Consultation
Corporations at Prior Pursglove College, Guisborough, and Stockton Sixth Form College are proceeding with a proposal to merge.
Following an open, transparent and comprehensive consultation which ran from 17th September – 23rd November 2015, governors at both sixth form colleges have concluded that the plan offered both sites security and sustainability for the longer term, and the best opportunities to continue and improve successful sixth form provision in their areas.
Students will continue their education at their college site, as currently. It is not expected they will notice the structural change.
As part of the plans, Joanna Bailey, Principal of Stockton Sixth Form College, is now Interim Principal at Prior Pursglove College and will oversee the strategic direction of both sites.
The landmark proposal would be the first equal merger of two sixth form colleges in 17 years.
Paul Gavens, Chair of Governors at Prior Pursglove College, said: “The last few months have provided us with an opportunity to consult staff, students, parents and our local communities on a proposal to merge Prior Pursglove College and Stockton Sixth Form College.
“As two of the region’s most successful post-16 providers, Prior Pursglove College and Stockton Sixth Form College have long been recognised for providing high quality education across a wide range of subjects in an inclusive and welcoming environment. As well as sharing a common purpose, we are both judged to be ‘Good’ by Ofsted and work in partnership with great success.
“We have spent some time looking for innovative solutions to enable both colleges to continue to reach the highest standards whilst making further efficiencies
“Both Governing Bodies are unanimous in their support and firmly believe in the benefits of this proposal to staff and stakeholders, but most importantly, current and prospective students.”
Margaret Hirst, Chair of Governors at Stockton Sixth Form College, said: “The last few years have brought about unprecedented pressure on public sector spending and the government has itself since moved to review post-16 education, announcing last July a wave of area reviews to look at creating “fewer, larger, more resilient and efficient providers”.
“We continue to participate fully in the Tees Valley area review process and regard this merger as a first step. We are open to other proposals which may emerge from the process to further strengthen provision of a sixth form college character in our localities.”
Both colleges will now put forward an application to the Secretary of State for approval. The date proposed for the incorporation of the new sixth form college is 1st April 2016.
23rd November 2015 – Consultation update
The consultation period has now closed. Thank you to all who got in touch to share your thoughts. We will now produce a response document which will be issued within two months of the close date [by 23rd January 2016]. This document will be made available free of charge to anyone who requests it.
23rd October 2015 – Consultation update
On behalf of Paul Gavens, Chair of Governors at Prior Pursglove College, and Margaret Hirst, Chair of Governors at Stockton Sixth Form College.
The last four weeks have provided us with an extensive opportunity to consult staff, students, parents and our local communities on our proposal to merge Prior Pursglove College and Stockton Sixth Form College and safeguard sixth form college education in the region.
This landmark proposal would see the first full merger between two sixth form colleges for 17 years. Indeed, it is rare for two organisations to merge on an equal basis, as this proposal sets out. To this end, we have worked closely with various parties to ensure the proposal is in keeping with legal requirements.
Following detailed discussions with our funding bodies, the proposed dates of incorporation and dissolution have been amended slightly and therefore legislation requires us to reissue our proposals. This extended timeframe allows us more time to consult on our plans as restated in the revised statutory notice.
The consultation close date in respect of the revised notice is now Monday 23rd November 2015. We of course welcome further feedback on our proposal over the coming weeks.
17th September 2015 – Consultation around a proposal to merge
You may have recently read about our Governing Body’s decision to conduct a comprehensive consultation around a proposal to merge with Stockton Sixth Form College.
During the consultation period, we will be constantly updating this online toolkit with all of the information you need in order to find out more and make a response to our plans.
If you have any further queries which arise over the coming weeks, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our consultation process aims to be as transparent, meticulous and detailed as possible, to ensure everyone is informed, and given their chance to have their say, about key developments. We are available via email on email@example.com and will respond to any queries within five working days.
Letters to students, parents and friends of the college
Frequently asked questions
Following our recent announcement, we wanted to provide you with answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
Responding to our proposal
We welcome the opportunity for feedback on our proposal. Download our pro forma document, which can be returned to the college via post or email.
This document is available in many formats. Please contact the college reception for more details.
Please note, all responses must be received by Thursday 15th October 2015.
If you want to find out more about our proposals and visit a public meeting on a drop-in basis, we welcome you to come along to:
- Stockton Sixth Form College on Tuesday 22nd September, 5-7pm
- Prior Pursglove College on Wednesday 23rd September, 5-7pm