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Merger of Lewisham Southwark Newcastle College

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Saturday 12 March 2016 6.01pm
I really don't understand why Lewisham Southwark College would need to 'merge' with this Newcastle based college. It will just create a higher tier of senior management who will be on high salaries and have very little to do with teaching. Obviously something needs to be done if the college is still failing Ofsted and/or not recruiting sufficient numbers, but there's been oodles of time to research this since it started getting poor reviews. Merging with an umbrella organisation is not the answer, they need to start looking at what they are offering students, create an USP and get into schools and sell themselves. Whenever I mention Southwark College in The Cut, people think it close down years ago. It has never been a place where kids wanted to go, more a place where they ended up. It was starting to get interesting a couple of years ago when they put the new building (hairdressing school, I think) at the front. Now it just looks like an office, or worse, a dole office. They need someone with vision to run the place and not someone who wants to pass the buck to another organisation.
Saturday 12 March 2016 6.10pm
I agree. It just looks increasingly desperate, I thought that looking at the new graffiti style hoarding on The Cut, trying to be cool but just made me cringe.
Saturday 12 March 2016 7.29pm
Didn't Southwark council have a plan for it?
Sunday 13 March 2016 11.08pm
Such as?
Monday 14 March 2016 10.20am
This might not really be relevant but anyway… I know someone who did a sound engineering course at Lewisham college. There were students openly snorting coke off desks in front of tutors who said nothing. My friend got to know the tutors socially and asked them about it. They said they were desperate for students.
Monday 14 March 2016 11.02am
Well said Karen I. I totally agree with you on all of your points. It's such as a shame as it has the potential to be a great place of learning.

I see what's happening from the inside as I'm a casual member of staff.
Tuesday 15 March 2016 9.32am
Apologies. All. Can't find correct thread. Re ex lesoco. College. This place never been much use but now think it is mainly luxury apartments. Correct or not?

Cotswolds 12
Tuesday 15 March 2016 11.50am
Paramount - half the site (on the Ufford Street side) has been sold by the college for housing but it hasn't been built yet. The planning application for the homes is currently pending.

All the current building work is for the college itself.

As for Karen's remark that "it just looks like an office" - that's intentional. From my write-up of the planning committee meeting in 2014:

Planning officer Yvonne Lewis explained that the "calm" new facade of the building on The Cut had been designed to look like a business premises rather than a place of learning.
"It looks a bit like an office block and they've suggested that that is in part because they want to get their students used to turning up at something which looks like a commercial building."

Re. the council's plan - they put forward a proposal to de-merge the Lewisham and Southwark sides of the college but it was rejected by the FE Commissioner who decided to give the new principal a chance to turn things round.

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