Jobs 'safe' after Doncaster College merger with North Lindsey College in Scunthorpe

Doncaster College
Doncaster College

Doncaster College bosses say jobs at the organisation are safe after announcing it will merge with North Lindsey College in Scunthorpe.

The deal has been agreed after a 'positive' public consultation this summer and officials said this week there were no plans for redundancies.

Both colleges will retain their own names and distinct identities, with local provision continuing unchanged.

Officials say this continuation of high quality teaching and learning provision for local students, communities and partners of both colleges will provide a solid educational foundation for both localities, as the merged college maximises the opportunities of being a major regional educational provider.

Anne Tyrrell, interim chief executive of both colleges said: "Of course we will be looking at ways to make efficiencies , and we realise there are savings to be made in procurement and software licences, across systems and processes. I can't say about the future, but certainly at this stage there are no plans for redundancies.

"This merger is driven by the teaching, learning and employment needs of our students and partners and is very much a partnership of equals. As one, merged organisation, we will build on the proven commitment of both colleges to improve options and experiences for our students, supporting them as they pursue clear pathways to skills development and ultimately employment."

She stressed no staff or students would have to travel to a different site as a result of the merger.

The official consultation report also noted staff concerns for jobs.

It stated: "Comments from employees included concern over job security and alignment of terms and conditions. We believe the proposed merger offers the best opportunity for long-term financial security at both colleges and will allow us to maximise opportunities for growth and investment. While we cannot give any guarantees, we have reassured staff they will be transferred to the DN Colleges Group on current contractual terms and conditions at the point of merger and that TUPE regulations will apply should the merger go ahead."

The on-line consultation found:

*56 per cent of agreed the merger would provide students with access to a wide range of training and learning opportunities and support them to gain skills and qualifications that meet the needs of employers.

*55 per cent agreed the merger would ensure that distinct, high quality teaching and learning provision continues locally, while maximising the positive impact and opportunities of being a major regional education provider.

*54 per cent agreed the college would achieve more for our students, staff, partners and communities as one merged organisation than would be possible if we remain as independent colleges.

Paul Pascoe, chairman of governors at Doncaster College, commented: “Understanding the views and perspectives of our stakeholders is an important factor in the decision to proceed with this merger.

"We are therefore delighted that the public consultation has agreed we will achieve more for our students, staff, partners and communities as one merged organisation than would be possible if we remained as independent colleges.

"Moving forward as a merged college, we will now be able to build on the existing strengths of both colleges, extending learning opportunities for students while building a network of skills development and training that will benefit businesses and communities, supporting future employment needs within and across regional boundaries.”

The merger will take place on November 1 2017. There will be no immediate changes for staff or students at either college. Current courses will continue, and prospective students should apply for courses in the normal way.