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East Kent College is preferred bidder to take over Folkestone and Dover campuses of troubled K College

06 February 2014
by Chris Price

East Kent College is to take over two campuses owned by the troubled provider K College.

The Thanet-based institution has been announced as the preferred bidder to run the Folkestone and Dover sites of K College, which is being broken up after amassing £16m of debt.

In December, Further Education minister Matthew Hancock agreed it had to act quickly to transfer its business to alternative colleges.

K College

K College

It is yet to be decided who will run its bases in Ashford, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells but the college is still recruiting new students for September 2014.

K College principal Phil Frier said: “We can now work together to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

“We were asked by the Skills Minister to find new providers for the college as soon as possible so that students can benefit more quickly from the many improvements we have set in place over the past few months.

“This is the start of a new beginning for the students of our campuses in Folkestone and Dover, and I am sure they will enjoy becoming part of the high quality East Kent College.

East Kent College principal Graham Razey

East Kent College principal Graham Razey

 

“We made a commitment to students from the outset that no matter what name was given to their college, their education would continue, and we are proud to have delivered that.”

East Kent College principal Graham Razey said: “We are very pleased as this announcement removes the uncertainty over the provision of further education for thousands of students in Dover and Shepway, and across East Kent as a whole.

“We will ensure high-quality, vocational and technical education programmes for students in this economically improving part of Kent through well-funded and well-managed centres of learning.”

Last year, K College had 14,982 students – including more than 900 apprentices – studying at its five campuses, with 2,021 in Folkestone and 841 in Dover. It employs more than 800 full and part-time staff.

It was formed in April 2010 through the merger of South Kent College with West Kent College but is being split back into these units after an independent review concluded learners in the coastal towns had different desires to those further in-land at Ashford, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.

It will soon launch a public consultation on its dissolution.

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