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    College Merger General FAQs

    The staff and board of Easton & Otley College appreciate that you will have a number of questions regarding the proposed merger.

    As we await the outcomes of the consultation period, we have prepared the below detail to help you better understand the impact of the FE Commissioner’s recommendations.

    We will continue to treat this as a live document which will be circulated with updates and amendments as and when appropriate.

    What do we mean by a merger? 

    A merger is the combining of two or more organisations.

     The proposed merger, in this case, will see Easton Campus merging with City College Norwich, and

    Otley Campus merging with Suffolk New College.

     We acknowledge the Commissioner’s belief that this will provide the most resilient future for the College and will ensure high standards of education and opportunity.

     Why does this need to happen?

    Over recent times, it has been recognised that Easton and Otley College would need to have another alternative approach to the provision of land-based learning, in order to be fully sustainable financially.  This scenario strengthens the work that the college has undertaken over the past 18 months.

    What is meant by a Consultation?

    The consultation phase is really important to the future strategy and means a period of formal discussion, in which a variety of audiences participate.

     This will gather opinions and insights from staff, students, parents, prospective students, employers, the business community and ‘friends’ of the Colleges, in order to ensure a large number of views are considered.

     How will the merger affect students currently engaged in Easton and Otley College? 

    It will largely be ‘business as usual’ for our students for the immediate future. It is intended that the changes will be in place by 31st December 2019, meaning you will see changes to academic activity as of the start of the New Year (2020).

     We intend to make the process as smooth, and with as little disruption, as possible.

     What about prospective students who have not yet joined?

    Naturally, we understand that those who have not yet started with Easton and Otley may want to consider their applications in respect of the changes, but we can reassure all prospective students that the changes will only enhance the ability to deliver exceptional teaching. We would advise you to contact us on questions@eastonotley.ac.uk and/or attend the KIT day(s) taking place in July, held on 2nd July at Otley and 3rd July at Easton, where you will be able to speak to staff about any concerns you have.  The invites for KIT (Keep in Touch) will be sent out next week by mail and email.

     Where exactly will I be required to study?

    The merger will not impact the campus you will be based at/applied to.

     Will the merger affect what courses are available?

    At this time the merger will have no impact on the courses offered for September 2019, any changes to courses that may occur would be a result of a pre-check on numbers ahead of the year which occurs every June/July.

    Can I choose to retract my application?

    If you are concerned that perhaps you wish to change your course, defer, or reconsider, we would urge you to discuss this with a member of our curriculum team.

     In the first instance, we suggest you contact the college via email on questions@eastonotley.ac.uk

    and/or attend the KIT day(s) in July, held on 2nd July at Otley and 3rd July at Easton.

     How will the merger affect staff currently employed by Easton and Otley College? Will my teaching staff (course tutor) change?

    There will be some teaching and leadership changes as part of the merger.

    For the most part, this will not apply until the implementation of the merged colleges in January 2020.

     However, full details of how staff might be affected will become clearer over the coming months.

     If you are specifically concerned about the teaching of your course, we suggest that you contact us via the email questions@eastonotley.ac.uk

     How will the business community be affected by this? Is it likely to affect apprenticeship and partnership relationships?

    We remain enormously confident – and grateful – that Easton and Otley College is held in high esteem by businesses and other partners.

     We are very committed to maintaining communication with those organisations currently providing apprenticeships or with whom we have an active relationship.

     Please be assured that you should have no concern about your current apprenticeship arrangement, and that if anything were to be susceptible to change, we would be advising you immediately.

     How can I have my say on other concerns?

    We are keen to stage open-door sessions and appropriate feedback surgeries at all sites in the coming months. Please stay up to date about these via our newsletter and website.