Federation Frequently Asked Questions

1.      How will the federation benefit students? 
We will be able to share best practice to improve quality of provision and quality of facilities. The financial sustainability and resilience will be strengthened, enabling us to develop to grow the number and range of courses offered, including in Higher Education, and to improve the facilities across the board.
 
2.      What provision will there be at the campuses?
The aim of the colleges is to meet demand for their services. The colleges intend to grow provision where demand requires. Curriculum plans will be directed and agreed by each college’s respective Board.


3.      Will students have to travel to a different campus?
This is a federation of the two colleges and they remain independent organisations. Students will continue to study at their respective college campus. The colleges are fully aware of the importance of local delivery of provision, especially in a sparsely-populated rural area. We are committed to supporting learners across the area in the most appropriate way.
 
4.      Will student fees still be the same?
The individual fees will remain the same as they are presently at each college and will be determined by each college, as they are separate institutions.
 
5.      How will the federation benefit employers?
We will be able to pool and coordinate our resources and our curriculum offer to be responsive to the local and regional needs. There will be further investment in the colleges, both in infrastructure and staff development, ensuring a better offer to students and to employers.
 
6.      Why are the colleges federating, not merging immediately?
Because we require support from the Skills Funding Agency and from Transition Funding in order to allow a merger to take place. The decision to merge will be made by the governing bodies at a later date. There will be a wider consultation required before that decision is made.
 
7.      How is a federation different from a merger?
The two colleges remain separate, autonomous and independent institutions under a federation. Under a merger the two colleges would become one.
 
8.      Will the colleges change their name?
No, the colleges will retain their own names and identities.
 
9.      Will the federation be just about land-based and agriculture programmes?
No. The federated organisation will continue to offer General Further Education courses as well as land-based courses.

10.  Will there be any shared services between the colleges?
We will explore the possibility through federation.
 
11.  Will there be investment in new facilities and infrastructure at the NSC campuses?
The federation creates the opportunity for investment. Bids could be made jointly for capital funds. There is opportunity as the two organisations are in two separate LEP areas, and the chance to bid for capital funds channelled through those organisations. As a Federation, the colleges aim to be financially stronger in order to be able to secure the necessary match funding.
 
12.  What will happen now?
We will explore how the organisations can best work together for the benefit of learners and employers that use the services of each college. 
 
13.  How can I get involved and give my views?
For further information or to ask a question, contact either Carol Thompson, NSC's Governance Advisor at carol.thompson@nsc.ac.uk or Jackie Schillinger, Clerk to the Corporation at Reaseheath College, at jackies@reaseheath.ac.uk


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