A review by the Department for Education (DfE) has recommended merging one of Basingstoke’s two colleges with one from outside the borough.
The North and Mid Hampshire area review called for Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT) to be merged with Alton College to “create a single institution serving the existing areas of the current colleges”.
A steering group made up of each of the area’s six colleges and local authorities felt that combining BCoT with Alton College would “enable the colleges to enhance their curriculum offer and learner choice”.
The report did note that if a merger was not later deemed to be possible, BCoT would stand alone and seek collaboration with other organisations, although it insisted the link up would “secure a stronger financial position overall”.
A feasibility study is now underway to establish the timescale, explore the financial and education aspects in detail, and consider the potential for a federation to be set up should any merger actually go ahead.
Another recommendation put forward by the group in the report called for Queen Mary’s College to be converted to academy status during the current academy year.
This would result in the college being funded by the DfE, and a trust being set up with local secondary schools to focus on improving the grades of pre-16 students across Basingstoke.