The Canterbury Hub

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Canterbury College merger gets green light

Canterbury College has officially agreed to merge with East Kent College after months of negotiations and a reorganisation.

Canterbury College has been trying to get out of the financial debacle they were left in by their previous leadership.

As we reported last week, the final decision was made last night to complete the merger that will see Canterbury become a part of East Kent College’s group of campuses in the new year.

A “Transfer Deed” was signed at a Canterbury’s board of governors meeting on Thursday night, that will see them transfer all assets, liability, staff and infrastructure to East Kent.


Canterbury College
Association of Colleges logo


An AoC spokesman said: “Mergers are complicated projects for colleges because if they operate in a changing and demanding environment, deal with a large number of stakeholders and regulators and need to focus on the needs of thousands of students. College leaders find that mergers are not for the faint-hearted. Much work is needed to ensure that the transition passes with minimum fuss.”

Canterbury College
Graham Razey – Group Principal

Group principal, Graham Razey said: “Both Governing Bodies have agreed to the merger of the two Colleges. The date is set for the 1 February (1 minute passed midnight). The legal teams are now working to get all of the documentation in place so that the merger can be executed in time.”

The merger, originally scheduled for August 1, 2017 – the single largest day of mergers in history, has been pushed until February 1, 2018.

KentOnline reported that the college blames the reorganisation on cuts to further education colleges and that their restructuring will amount to around £1 million per annum in savings.

The problem with money got so serious under the leadership of Alison Clarke, the Skills Funding Agency had to step in and pay the wages of Canterbury College staff in July 2016.

Ms Clarke retired at the end of July 2016 which allowed an easy transition into new leadership.

Canterbury College
Colin Carmichael – Chief Executive Canterbury Council

At the time KentOnline reported that, Colin Carmichael, the chairman of governors at Canterbury College, said: “Alison has been the heart and soul of Canterbury College for many years and oversaw the complete renewal of the campus and the creation of a wonderful environment for students to study and thrive.

“The board offers her every good wish for her future.”

For more information, check out our explainer on the merge.