Chamber News

Lowestoft Sixth Form College to merge with East Coast College

Lowestoft Sixth Form College to merge with East Coast College

Lowestoft Sixth Form College to merge with East Coast College

Lowestoft Sixth Form College has confirmed it will merge with East Coast College to create a larger, more financially resilient organisation while maintaining high quality sixth form provision for students in the town.

Both organisations combine the two Colleges into one umbrella organisation today (1 August 2018). The day-to-day running of Lowestoft Sixth Form College will remain very much the same, but the merger will create a more financially resilient organisation and provide the opportunity to widen the educational offer for existing and prospective students. Students currently studying at either College, or who are just about to enrol at the end of this month, will continue as normal on the course and at the College site they signed up for.

The decision to merge follows a period of consultation and the completion of legal and financial due diligence. While concerns were raised and addressed during the consultation period both organisations are now focussed on bringing the colleges together for the benefit of the community, and as recommended by the FE Commissioner in the Area Review of Post-16 Education in Norfolk and Suffolk.

David Bye, Chair of Governors at Lowestoft Sixth Form College, said: “Maintaining the high quality of education which Lowestoft Sixth Form College provides remains the top priority. The results achieved by the team at the Sixth Form College, have been outstanding and merging with East Coast College provides the best

possible opportunity for continuing this great work. Lowestoft Sixth Form College will retain a level of autonomy while benefiting from being part of a larger organisation in East Coast College. Together we can plan to further improve the quality of education, maintain the breadth of options available to students and help develop a skilled, local workforce for the regional economy.”

Mike Burrows, Chair of Governors at East Coast College, added: “This merger has always been about sustaining and improving the life chances of learners within our community. The prize we are after is simply better achievement at all ages leading to higher skills.”

The merged colleges will be led by Stuart Rimmer, Principal and CEO of East Coast College. Lowestoft Sixth Form College will retain its unique identity under the leadership of interim Principal Kevin Grieve. Kevin, former principal of Paston Sixth Form College in North Walsham, will take over from current principal David Gartland at the end of August. To ease the transition, he is already in place at the College and has met with staff. David will move to a new role at Abbeygate Sixth Form College in Bury St Edmunds, to which he was appointed before the decision to merge the Colleges was made.

Stuart Rimmer, Principal and CEO of East Coast College said: “This merger brings together, for our community, strengths in both academic and technical/professional learning. The opportunities to share, transform and grow across East Norfolk and Waveney are superb and will go from strength to strength.” 

Kevin Grieve, interim principal at Lowestoft Sixth Form College added: “I’m delighted to be joining the College at this exciting time. Having come from a Sixth Form education background, I recognise the importance of maintaining the high quality and excellent reputation of Lowestoft Sixth Form College. As part of the larger East Coast College we can also work together to expand the choice of post-16 education options in East Norfolk and North Suffolk.”

All existing Lowestoft Sixth Form College staff will transfer over to East Coast College with their existing pay, holiday entitlement and retain their public sector pensions. There are no planned redundancies as a result of the merger.



Article by Suffolk Chamber