In parallel with the London Area Review of Further Education, the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) has been having discussions with Barnet & Southgate College and Waltham Forest College to explore the possibility of a three-way merger.
This option has now been shelved by agreement. Barnet & Southgate College and Waltham Forest College have today announced their decision to pursue a two-way merger between them, with a target date of August 2017.
From CONEL’s perspective, the key issue is a difference of approach to the issue of governance and management of a large merged college serving such a broad area of London. CONEL’s view is that we need to look at an innovative group structure, in which there is strong local governance and management of each component college. CONEL’s two partners expressed a preference for a traditional model of merger and feel that developing an alternative at this stage would cause unnecessary delay to their merger timetable.
This means that as things stand the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London will continue as a separate college for the foreseeable future.
Andy Forbes, Principal of CONEL, commented: “Given our current financial strength and the continued improvement in our academic results, we are confident about the college’s future prospects. We are a successful college with strong roots in our local communities and this will continue.”
Keith Brown, Chair of Governors of CONEL, said: “We will always be open to exploring closer collaboration with partner colleges where we feel that would further improve what we can offer to learners. We will therefore continue to work closely with Barnet & Southgate and Waltham Forest, and other neighbouring colleges to develop London’s education and skills provision.”