Governors announce plans for a merger between Berkshire College of Agriculture and The Windsor Forest Colleges Group
The Boards of Governors at Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) and The Windsor Forest Colleges Group (TWFCG) have agreed in principle to merge, with a target date of July 2022. The colleges will now enter a period of consultation and due diligence after which a final decision will be made.
The proposed merger seeks to preserve, celebrate and extend the distinctive features of each college while forming a larger, dynamic and more resilient Group, which will increase opportunity and aspirations for the young people, adults and employers in the region.
The merger will bring together the expertise of the two organisations, both rated Good by Ofsted, which includes the specialist land-based and vocational programmes at BCA alongside a flourishing Sixth Form offer at Strode’s and Windsor Colleges and the technical and vocational education at Langley College.
Pippa Goodwin, Chair of the BCA Board confirmed the landmark decision and said: “The successful growth we have seen at BCA in recent years has put us in a very strong position moving forward – we are ambitious for our students and can see many opportunities for development and progression by joining The Windsor Forest Colleges Group. We will retain our name, brand and all the features that make BCA unique, while benefitting from the scale of opportunity that being part of a larger organisation will bring.”
Chair of Governors for The Windsor Forest Colleges Group – Angela Wellings commented on this mutual decision which will enhance opportunities for learners in Berkshire, Surrey and South Bucks. She said: “Both boards have examined the benefits of the merger closely and have agreed to proceed with the next stage of due diligence. We are excited at the prospect of joining forces with BCA. We already collaborate on many projects and this merger would bring an enormous amount of expertise together under one progressive College Group.”
Principal of BCA Anne Entwistle commented on the merger and said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for both organisations, who currently serve a similar catchment area. By merging to become one organisation, we can ensure our students are provided with more opportunity, a wider curriculum and strong links with industry.” She continued: “Having worked with Gillian May at BCA, who leads The Windsor Forest Colleges Group, I am confident our colleges will flourish together.”
A public consultation will be launched in the New Year which will be published on the college websites.