Warwickshire College group to close Henley-in-Arden site

Warwickshire College Group's Henley-in-Arden site
Warwickshire College Group's Henley-in-Arden site

Warwickshire College Group has announced this week that it will close its Henley-in-Arden College site in July 2016 at the end of the 2015/16 academic year.

The college group has said that over recent years student numbers at Henley-in-Arden College have been declining.

With only a small number of young people in the immediate catchment area the college has had to attract students from Solihull, Stratford and further afield but changes in local authority transport arrangements a few years ago have made the site difficult for students to access.

The further education sector has also suffered significant cuts in government funding over recent years, meaning all colleges must plan for the future - says the group.

The group has written to all students to reassure them that they are not closing the courses and that there will be no changes for the duration of this academic year.

The courses that run at Henley-in-Arden - predominantly sports and hair and beauty courses - will be transferred to either the Moreton Morrell or Leamington sites from September 2016.

Students on two-year courses will be transferred to these colleges for the second year of their course and the group has given a commitment that arrangements will be made to support students with this transition.

The group has also promised work with students to ensure progression routes for all students currently studying at the College.

Angela Joyce, group principal and chief executive of the Warwickshire College Group, said this week: “This hasn’t been an easy decision for us but it’s important to stress that we are not closing these courses.

“We have spent £12 million over the last two years refurbishing our college at Leamington and have plans to invest in expanding and upgrading our sports facilities at Moreton Morrell College as part of this change.

“The decision is part of a wider plan for the future and will ensure the strong operating model in place at Warwickshire College Group can continue to be effective in a changing and challenging external environment.

“While decisions like this are never easy, we are confident this will guarantee a secure future for Warwickshire College Group and will allow us to continue to provide excellent teaching and training for all our students across the region.”

The group has said it does not envisage having to make any staff redundant as part of the closure.