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Greater Opportunities – Brighter Futures

We are delighted to confirm the merger between BCA and The Windsor Forest College Group will commence from 1st August – read more here.

Merger Consultation between Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) and The Windsor Forest College’s Group (WFCG)
  1. Welcome from our Chairs of Governors
  2. Introduction
  3. Our vision for the Future
  4. Key Benefits of the Merger
  5. Our Colleges
  6. Leadership and Governance
  7. Merger Timelines
  8. Public Consultation: Your Views
  9. Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome from the Chairs of Governors. 

We are delighted to be working together to develop a new college group for the region.  The proposed merger between Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) and The Windsor Forest Colleges Group (TWFCG) will bring significant advantages to our students and the communities we serve. Central to these advantages is our shared belief that we will always do what is best for the delivery of education and skills for our students and our region, while safeguarding the best practice and culture within our organisations.

The merged college group will consist of four colleges that foster a specialist, distinctive General Further Education (GFE), Sixth Form and land-based curriculum for the local area and region. We will develop the specialisms at each site and create seamless progression routes for our students. 

Our vision is for a merger with the shared values of trust and ambition. We are people focused, with strong leadership and governance and an ambitious agenda for partnership, growth and quality improvement. The colleges within the group will grow and support students and employers from their own position of strength and will benefit from shared expertise. In this way BCA and TWFCG will have the platform to become a financially strong, innovative and sustainable educational institution, providing the highest quality education and training. 

All colleges in the Group will retain their distinctive, local brands; BCA will join a group of colleges that has two highly successful Sixth Form Colleges and an ambitious, well-resourced General Further Education College serving the diverse communities of Berkshire, Surrey and West London. 

We are ambitious for our future and welcome your views on our vision for the region’s education and skills agenda. 

Introduction 

Following a detailed appraisal, the boards of Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) and The Windsor Forest Colleges Group are proposing a merger of the two organisations. 

The merger will see BCA joining Langley College, Strode’s College and Windsor College as part of The Windsor Forest Colleges Group. In this way we will create a stronger and more resilient group, providing more choice and opportunities for students, staff, employers, and the communities we serve. 

Our Vision for the Future 

This exciting merger proposal seeks to preserve, celebrate and extend the distinctive features of each college while forming a larger, dynamic, and more resilient College Group. It will increase opportunity and aspirations for young people, adults and employers in the region. 

At the heart of our vision is the expansion and development of the specialist land-based and vocational programmes at BCA; the flourishing academic and creative Sixth Form offer at Strode’s and Windsor Colleges and the innovative professional and technical programmes at Langley College. 

The colleges within the group will continue to grow and support students and employers from their respective position of strength and shared expertise. 

 Key Benefits of the Merger 

  1. A College group with a strong financial base delivering high quality education and training for the benefit of the people and employers in the communities we serve.
  2. Preservation of the distinctive features and brand of each college ensuring seamless continuity of teaching, training and learning for students, staff and employers. 
  3. Clear specialisation and the development of comprehensive pathways to high-level technical and professional skills and increasing progression opportunities for students and employers.
  4. Greater capacity for investment in students’ support services to secure post-Covid catch up and additional student welfare programmes. 
  5. Greater strategic influence – the flexibility and capacity to respond to changes in government funding priorities and future demand.
  6. Greater ability to invest in new and much needed skills priorities and the ability to invest in new curriculum offers. The Group will have the financial capacity to protect and grow specialisms (including investment in land-based and green technologies).
  7. The Group will operate across a wider geographical market, increasing learner choice. Subject and course combinations will be stronger allowing learners to move on to the next step with the wider range of qualifications offered.
  8. A cost-effective infrastructure – a larger financially resilient college delivering maximum value for public investment. The merger will allow the colleges to share physical resources and teaching spaces allowing for the expansion of the curriculum, apprenticeships and commercial work.

Our Colleges

BCA, Langley, Strode’s and Windsor Colleges are all rate Good by Ofsted.

Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA)  

Based on the edge of Maidenhead in a stunning 400-acre campus, BCA has been delivering land-based and vocational education training since its establishment in 1949. 

BCA has a reputation for outstanding student academic and welfare support.

It currently has over 1600 full-time students drawing from a wide catchment area including Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and West London. 

BCA boasts specialist facilities including an onsite BIAZA accredited Zoo, Equestrian Centre, sports pitches, a motor vehicle electric and hybrid training centre and hi-tech classrooms and creative arts studios and workshops. 

BCA is an active member of Landex.

Langley College 

Established in 1976, Langley has a long-standing reputation as a specialist vocational college delivering professional and technical skills that prepare schools leavers and adults learners for careers in the industry. 

The Langley College site has benefitted from a £30 million investment in its facilities and houses: specialist hair and beauty salons and therapy suites; a STEM centre for engineering technology, motor vehicle training and construction trades; a dedicated restaurant including kitchens for hospitality training; hi-tech classrooms delivering business and IT programmes; an onsite commercial gym and sports hall; a real-life hospital environment; and a dedicated Higher Education Centre. 

Strode’s College 

Strode’s College was established as a Sixth Form college in 1975 but the site’s founding history spans back to 1704. 

Strode’s offers a thriving Sixth Form experience incorporating high academic standards, a rich curriculum with a progressive range of subjects and the opportunity for students to combine A-Levels and BTEC programmes tailored to their specific ambitions. It also offers a range of adult academic, leisure and vocational courses.

Strode’s is set in historic grounds with its own extensive sports fields, hi-tech classrooms, science labs, sports hall and gym, creative arts studios, performing arts and dance centre and creative media studios, incorporating green screens and the latest software and technology. 

Students progress to Oxbridge and Russell Group universities as well as art schools, music conservatoires and apprenticeships.

Windsor College  

The Windsor College campus was opened by Her Majesty The Queen in March 2007. Located in the centre of Windsor, its vibrant location makes it an attractive option for students. 

The College offers a rich Sixth Form experience that includes a wide range of A-Levels and vocational BTEC qualifications including Business and Science. It has a growing offer for adults and is extending its Higher Education programmes.  

The vibrant college has a rich array of facilities including creative arts studios, a visual merchandising centre with its own street-facing shop windows, contemporary science laboratories, creative media suites, performing arts spaces including access to the Old Court Theatre. 

Students progress to top universities including Oxbridge and Russell Group as well as leading arts and drama schools and music conservatoires. 

Leadership and Governance 

The Boards of Berkshire College of Agriculture and The Windsor Forest Colleges Group have both passed resolutions to progress a merger proposal. A formal statutory consultation process has been undertaken and the decision to merge has been confirmed.

Both organisations benefit from strong and committed governing bodies that have a good understanding of what their communities need. Therefore, it is agreed that the membership of The Windsor Forest Colleges Group Corporation will include existing members from each of the colleges.  

This approach will deliver both stability and continuity and ensure the newly merged college group benefits from the correct level of strategic focus.  

Merger Timelines 

Statutory Notice of Merger24th March 2022 
Public Consultation24th March 2022 - 27th April 2022 
Consultation Outcome Published27th June 2022 
Merger Date1st August 2022 

Public Consultation: Your Views

The public consultation has now closed. Thank you for participating. The outcomes of the consultation can be found below.

Read our Privacy Notice here.

Downloads


Public Concultation Document

PDF · 2.1mb

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Public Consultation Feedback

PDF · 3.72mb

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Statutory Notice

PDF · 26.08kb

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Statutory Notice of Dissolution

PDF · 164.97kb

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