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Merger planned to create largest college in country

Recommendations have been submitted to create the largest college of further education in the country, following a ten-week consultation process by the Learning and Skills Council Greater Manchester.

The move would see the merging of the Manchester College of Arts and Technology (MANCAT) and City College, Manchester.

The consultation was launched in May 2006 and hoped to address the improvement of curriculum coherence across Manchester colleges, and to make effective recommendations “for the most effective governance and management structure for FE in the country”.

And among the proposals offered to address these issues, a merger of the two colleges was felt to best cope with the city’s FE landscape.

In a briefing released by MANCAT, Peter Tavernor, Principal, stated that the merger “was seen as the strongest option. [It] would, in the words of the report, offer opportunities “by combining the traditions and expertise of Manchester’s two current institutions”. The report recommends a federal approach, with substantial delegation to component institutions in the city”.

Mr Tavernor continued: “The report’s recommendation of a merger to form a new institution, organised on a federal basis, has received the enthusiastic support of Manchester City Council”.

“The report and the City Council’s letter of recommendation were considered at a special meeting of our governing body on Friday 1 September. At that meeting the merger option was unanimously approved”.

And a statement released by the LSC concurs, noting that the report “favours the merger of the two FE colleges, Manchester College of Arts and Technology (MANCAT) and City College Manchester (CCM), based on a federal model, as the strongest option”.

Elaine Bowker, Director of Area for Greater Manchester at LSC Greater Manchester said: “The review has been extremely helpful in identifying the most effective solution for the future of further education in the City of Manchester”.

“The report makes some radical recommendations and the challenges that lie ahead are substantial. We now need to discuss the recommendations thoroughly with the colleges and local authority and establish the best way forward”.

Vijay Pattni.

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