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Joint statement from Canterbury College and East Kent College

Following simultaneous meetings of the Boards of Governors at Canterbury College and East Kent College, the decision has been taken to formally strengthen operational ties and planning between the two Further Education Colleges.

This will see the two Colleges create a shared senior Executive team and corporate services management, working under a shared Principal.

The announcement coincides with the decision of Alison Clarke, Principal of Canterbury College, to retire at the end of July after 25 years at Canterbury College, 10 of those as Principal. She will be succeeded by Graham Razey, Principal of East Kent College, who will also become acting Principal at Canterbury.

Significant reductions in government funding for Further Education Colleges, and the forthcoming Area Review of all the FE Colleges in Kent this Autumn, which will aim to improve learning opportunities for students while reducing costs, has led the Colleges to work towards much greater cooperation and efficiency in delivering excellent teaching for local young people.

The creation of the shared teams at management level will deliver around £1 million per annum savings, which will be shared between the Colleges, as well as enabling much better curriculum planning and reducing unnecessary competition.

Announcing the decision, Beverley Aitken, Chair of Governors at East Kent College, said: “The relationship with Canterbury College has already proved to be very productive. We are confident that we will demonstrate that by working more closely together, we can deliver the most effective education for the benefit of our students.”

Colin Carmichael, chairman of the Canterbury College Governors, added: “This closer partnership with East Kent is an obvious decision for us to make. It means that we can continue to offer brilliant teaching and facilities to our community and concentrate on our strengths.”

Commenting on the retirement of Alison Clarke, Colin added “Alison has been the heart and soul of Canterbury College for many years. During her 10 years as Principal she has overseen the complete renewal of the campus and the creation of a wonderful environment for students to study and thrive. The Board offer her every good wish for her future.”

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