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 happen on 1st August 2022.
The Chair of The Windsor Forest Colleges Group Board, Angela Wellings, commented on this landmark occasion. She said: “This is truly a momentous day, bringing together two highly respected organisations under one group. The Windsor Forest Colleges Group will now comprise of four individual colleges – Langley, Strode’s, Windsor and BCA, all of whom will continue to deliver their individual and specialist programmes and will now benefit from combined expertise and resource.” She added: “I would like to thank everyone who participated in the public consultation, which saw resounding support for the merger. I would also like to thank the leadership teams and boards of governors of the colleges for successfully bringing our 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 in 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, 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 occasion for me, 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 formally become part of The Windsor Forest College Group on the 1st August 2022. Each college within the Group will retain its specialisms and identity and continue to operate as they currently do with no change for current or prospective students.
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 Goodwin will retain a leading role as the Vice-Chair, supporting Angela Wellings in her leadership of the board.