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Staff and Students Celebrate as Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) joins The Windsor Forest Colleges Group

Students, staff and Governors came together on the steps of Hall Place at Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) this week, to celebrate the merger between BCA and The Windsor Forest Colleges Group which will commence on 1st August 2022. 

The Chair of The Windsor Forest Colleges Group Board, Angela Wellings commented on this landmark occasion which has included a full year of exploration and consultation. She said: “This is truly a momentous day, bringing together two highly respected organisations under one group banner. The Group will now comprise of four individual colleges Langley, Strode’s, Windsor and BCA all of whom will continue to deliver their individual programmes but will now be bolstered by the shared expertise that both organisations bring to the table.” She added: “I would like to thank everyone who participated in the public consultation which saw resounding support for the merger and the professionalism of the leadership of both organisations in bringing the merger to fruition.”

The Chair of Governors for BCA, Pippa Goodwin shared Angela’s enthusiasm for the merger stating: “I am delighted that BCA will be joining its neighbouring colleges under one highly professional college group. This merger provides the opportunity for BCA to share the knowledge and expertise it has honed over the last 73 years since its foundation in 1949.” She continued: “I would like to thank the management and staff at BCA for their commitment to the merger and all the hard work that has gone into forging new relationships with their colleagues from the Windsor Forest Colleges Group to ensure a smooth transition into the new academic year.”

The Group Principal and CEO Gillian May, will now lead the combined group, which is consolidated by her 10 years as the Principal at BCA up to April 2021. Gillian commented: “I am delighted to lead the newly merged group and to share the wonderful expertise and dedication I see in both organisations with our learners, employers and partners. This really is a momentous week for me as I can see the huge potential ahead of us – more opportunities for learners, better service for employers, and more career development for staff.” She continued: “Our ambition is to be the leading Further Education and Sixth Form provider in the region, guaranteeing quality and success for learners of all ages and abilities.”

Berkshire College of Agriculture will become part of the Windsor Forest College Group from the 1st August 2022. Each college will retain its name and brand identity and will continue to operate as they do currently with no change for current or prospective students. Gillian added: “It is business as usual at each of our colleges – the curriculum and course offer will remain the same, the teaching staff will remain the same and the student experience will be the same. Over time we anticipate increasing the links between the colleges to share resources, facilities and expertise which will enhance the learner experience at all of our colleges.”

The new governing body will be formed of a strong mix of governors from both BCA and the Windsor Forest Colleges Group. Outgoing BCA Chair, Pippa Godwin will retain a leading role as the Vice-Chair of the Board supporting Angela Wellings in leading the board, bringing her long-standing knowledge and expertise of BCA and the land-based sector to the table.

To find out more about the merger and each of the colleges within The Windsor Forest Colleges Group visit www.windsor-forest.ac.uk or www.bca.ac.uk

 To read about the merger consultation click here