Leeds City College
|Established||1 April 2009 (merged)|
|Type||Further Education college|
|Principal & CEO||Colin Booth|
|DfE URN||135771 Tables|
Leeds City College is the largest Further education establishment in the City of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, with around 26,000 students, 2,300 staff and an annual turnover of £78 million. It officially opened on 1 April 2009. The College was granted official status in January 2009 and was formed from three large colleges, Park Lane College, Leeds Thomas Danby College and Leeds College of Technology. The college is a member of the Collab Group (formerly the 157 Group) of 35 high performing state sixth form colleges and colleges of further education.
On 1 August 2011 the college expanded further with the merger of the three sites of Joseph Priestley College in Rothwell, Beeston and Morley. On the same day it also became the owner of a newly re-constituted Leeds College of Music which will maintain a level of independence as a wholly owned company of the City College.
The existing five sites of the three forming colleges continued in use, and were named as follows:
- Thomas Danby Campus, former Leeds Thomas Danby site, with specialist provision in catering and hospitality. This site was closed in September 2013 and activities relocated to the new Printworks Campus.
- Technology Campus, former Leeds College of Technology site, with specialist provision in electrical & engineering crafts and computing
- Park Lane Campus, former Park Lane College Leeds site, with specialist provision in business training courses
- Horsforth Campus, former Park Lane College Horsforth site
- Keighley Campus, former Park Lane College Keighley site, with specialist provision in trade/construction programmes
In September 2011 a new site was opened after a college merger:
- Joseph Priestley Campus, former Joseph Priestley College Morley site. With sites also in Rothwell and Beeston.
In September 2013 a new site was opened:
- Printworks Campus, in Hunslet Road, Leeds, incorporating the Grade II listed print halls of the former Alf Cooke printworks and purpose-built new buildings.
The college also operates from 12 other centres in Leeds.
Reasons for merger
The decision to merge the three colleges was agreed by the three institutions involved with the joint aim being:
"...to raise achievement levels in Leeds and Keighley, offer more courses to suit the needs of everyone from school leavers to employers, and enhance our facilities to be amongst the best in the country".
With the three colleges offering many similar courses, one of the major advantages of having a unified education institution in the city is that duplication of courses is eliminated and the provision of centralised services to learners.
According to the Leeds College Merger website, the Secretary of State gave official approval of the merger in January 2009 with the three colleges being dissolved on 31 March 2009. From 1 April 2009, Leeds City College would come into force with a new identity and from then on, publicity campaigns would run to extend the awareness of the new college. New students will be enrolled to the new Leeds City College from September 2009.
Funding for the merger
It was assumed that the primary funding body for Further Education in England, The Learning and Skills Council, had ring-fenced a capital grant to help fund the merger. Although no actual figure was published, an article that appeared in the Yorkshire Evening Post in December 2006 spoke of up to £200 million being made available.
However, news hit the headlines in spring 2009 of a serious and unexpected financial deficit within their national Building Colleges for the Future program, from where the grant would normally have been allocated. This has cast doubts on how just how much money (if any) will be made available for this merger, and when it would be released.
- Ofsted report March 2010 Retrieved 29 June 2010
- 'Keeping you in touch with merger news'[dead link]
- "Leeds City College open for business". The Leeds college merger. 1 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-01.[dead link]
- 157 Group Retrieved 29 July 2010
- Belgutay, Julia (14 October 2016). "157 Group to be renamed the Collab Group in ambitious new strategy". TES. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
- 'Merger News'
- 'Strategic Alliance receives approval'
- "College merger". Leeds City College. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
- "Thomas Danby Campus". Leeds City College. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- "Printworks Campus". Leeds City College. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- "College Centres". Leeds City College. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- "College Merger". Leeds City College. Retrieved 2009-07-27.
- The Leeds College Merger
- £200m colleges merger proposal
- College Building scheme 'flawed'