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Governors announce plans for a merger between The Windsor Forest Colleges Group and Berkshire College of Agriculture.

The Boards of Governors at The Windsor Forest Colleges Group (TWFCG) and Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) 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 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 flourishing Sixth Form offer at Strode’s and Windsor Colleges, progressive technical and vocational education at Langley College, and the specialist land-based and vocational programmes at BCA.

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.”

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.”

Group Principal and CEO Gillian May joined The Windsor Forest Colleges Group in April this year after 10 years leading BCA and therefore brings her knowledge of both organisations to the merger opportunity.  She said: “I am very pleased the Boards have decided in principle to merge. I can see enormous potential in the proposed new Group. The sharing of knowledge and expertise will enhance our curriculum and our ability to respond to the fast-changing demands of the education and skills agenda in the region.”

A public consultation will be launched in the New Year which will be published on the college websites.

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