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Return of Southwark College and Lewisham College as merger is dropped after six years

Lewisham Southwark College will separate into two colleges, six years after they merged, it was announced today (Monday, September 24).

Staff were told of the separation by Joe Docherty, Chief Executive of Lewisham Southwark College’s parent company NCG, who have been running the institution since last year.

The new principal roles are being advertised immediately and current staff have been told there are no planned redundancies.

A series of public consultation sessions are set to take place to give students and parents the opportunity to find out more and the re-branding of the colleges will happen next month.

It will see the college separate into two – Lewisham College and Southwark College – both remaining part of NCG. 

Mr Docherty said in his announcement: “This decision will allow the newly established colleges to develop curriculum programmes that better meet the needs of the communities they serve and to work more closely with key stakeholders, including crucially the local authorities of Lewisham and Southwark.

“Two new principals will be appointed to lead the colleges – both charged with the opportunity to make sure the offer better meets the respective local challenges while continuing to collaborate on areas where that makes sense.

“These are incredibly exciting opportunities and in making this move we will better meet NCG’s purpose, to unlock potential through learning.”

He added: “We will work closely with colleagues to make sure they shape the way Lewisham College and Southwark College are created.

“This is an important milestone in our mission to support communities with the skills they need.

“Both colleges will continue to be afforded the financial security and benefits of being part of NCG – including financial strength, shared knowledge and expertise and cost efficiencies.”

Cllr Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, welcomed the move saying local people deserved better than had been on offer in recent years.

He said: “This is welcome news for Southwark residents, who deserve a better and more focused further education offer than we have had in recent years.

“The council has worked with local schools to ensure Southwark children receive a first class education, and we expect the same standard from our further education colleges.

“We look forward to working with the new Southwark College to help our residents reach their potential and have every opportunity to succeed in life.”

Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham said: “Further education opens up opportunities for so many Lewisham residents of all ages.

“This move will allow the newly-branded Lewisham College to tailor their curriculum to the needs of our borough and we welcome this.”

Lewisham Southwark College was originally formed by a merger of Lewisham and Southwark Colleges in 2012, and it became part of NCG in 2017.

NCG’s Tony Lewin will remain Executive Lead as the separation takes place. 

The company also operates five other colleges outside of London, Carlisle College, Kidderminster College, Newcastle College, Newcastle Sixth Form College and West Lancashire College.


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