After the intention to merge was announced in January 2018 there has been a series of projects launched to ensure the smooth integration of Bracknell and Wokingham College and the Activate Learning group.
This successful collaboration has culminated in the finalisation of the merger today (10/1) and will mark the start of a hugely prosperous partnership to the benefit of students, staff and businesses we work with and our wider community.
The merger will bring new choices for not only students at the college, but also staff, giving access to growth and development opportunities only made possible by being part of a larger group with national influence.
Sally Dicketts, Chief Executive of Activate Learning, said: “Bracknell and Wokingham College is a good provider of education with strong ties to the local community, but when further education has seen no increase in its funding for eight years, and how and where we learn is changing fundamentally with technology, the importance of scale and partnerships becomes essential and our new group of colleges will provide this.
“We are passionate about ensuring our students are getting an education that is both meaningful to them and the local communities they live in. This is why we’ve developed relationships with an extensive range of businesses at Activate Learning, working closely with them to ensure what we teach is what they need.
“Our philosophy is to transform lives through learning and one of the things this new partnership will bring is access to our education pathways that can lead to a range of opportunities for our students. It opens up to the students of Bracknell and Wokingham the opportunities to learn in a different way through our Learning Philosophy and Learning Attributes.
“The partnership will build on the strengths both organisations bring to the table, helping us as a group to drive up the quality of our education and training as we share systems and expertise and providing stability for the communities of Bracknell and Wokingham by ensuring it has a college that will be able to meet their needs for generations to come.”
Over the past several months significant work was undertaken by both colleges to ensure the merger had minimal impact on students and staff.
Part of this work saw consultation taking place with staff, students and local businesses to capture their views and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
Paul Newman, Head of Campus at Bracknell and Wokingham College, who has been leading on the merger, praised staff at the college for their hard work over the past year.
“There has been such fantastic spirit of collaboration between the two organisations to get to this point as everyone has recognised the benefits of this merger,” he added.
“I would like to thank everyone from both organisations that have been involved in this work and for making this process go as smoothly as possible and minimising the disruption to our learners.”
David Cook, the outgoing Chair of Governors for the Bracknell and Wokingham College Corporation, said he welcomed the new partnership.
He said: “The campus retains the name of Bracknell and Wokingham College, first established in 1996, but with the added bonus ‘part of Activate Learning’, which I am convinced, as do all other corporation members, adds breadth and depth to learning capacity and capability and will enhance the learner experience.”
Bracknell and Wokingham College has now joined City of Oxford College, Reading College and Banbury and Bicester College, as a destination for further and higher education and apprenticeships under the Activate Learning banner.