Aylesbury College could merge with Amersham and Wycombe College after government review

Editorial image of a student in a college library
Editorial image of a student in a college library

Aylesbury College could be set to merge with Amersham and Wycombe College as part of a government review.

The institutions are currently in discussions on how to provide the same courses to students at the three sites in Aylesbury, Amersham and Flackwell Heath.

Further Education and Sixth Form colleges in England are currently taking part in government-led area based reviews, which are focusing on how best to offer courses which best suit students and employers in the given area - in a way which supports economic growth.

The colleges took part in the Thames Valley Area review with seven other institutions in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, and Berkshire.

Both colleges say they have now agreed to pursue this proposal as an opportunity to cater for the needs of students, employers and the communities the colleges serve.

Karen Mitchell, principal and chief executive of Aylesbury College, said: “It is an exciting time for further education and skills in Buckinghamshire and we can see the great opportunity in establishing one college for Bucks, bringing together the best aspects of both colleges and supporting our shared ambition to build highly responsive vocational and technical learning that delivers job skills of the future.

“The proposed merger will create a larger, more capable and resilient organisation; an institution which will deliver consistently high quality teaching, improving outcomes for students.

“The new, merged, college will be more financially robust and sustainable, more efficient and better able to respond to the needs of its stakeholders.”

In a report published earlier this month by Ofsted Amersham & Wycombe College was graded as Inadequate.

When handing out the damning verdict, inspectors said the college was in ‘significant financial difficulties.’

They found that governance was not fit for purpose and said that the governing body had failed to carry out its duties effectively.

Commenting on the financial difficulties they said that ‘despite this instances of poor financial management and unwise spending of public funds are frequent’.