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Canterbury College principal Alison Clarke to retire as merger with East Kent College revealed

By Alex Claridge

The principal of Canterbury College is to leave the post as it was revealed today that a merger could see job cuts and departments combined.

Alison Clarke will formally retire on July 25 after 10 years at the helm of the college in New Dover Road.

When the next academic year starts in September, Canterbury will be linked administratively to East Kent College.

Former Canterbury College principal Alison Clarke quit in the summer.
Former Canterbury College principal Alison Clarke quit in the summer.

The boards of governors of both colleges announced today that they would operate jointly under a single shared senior executive team shared principal.

But they admit that there will be an unspecified number of job losses.

Graham Razey is the principal of East Kent College – which has campuses in Broadstairs, Dover and Folkestone – and will be acting head of Canterbury.

In her decade at Canterbury, Ms Clarke oversaw the construction of new college buildings and redevelopment of the campus.

Canterbury College is undergoing a period of reorganisation
Canterbury College is undergoing a period of reorganisation

Colin Carmichael, the chairman of governors at Canterbury College, said: “Alison has been the heart and soul of Canterbury College for many years and oversaw the complete renewal of the campus and the creation of a wonderful environment for students to study and thrive.

"The board offers her every good wish for her future.”

The colleges blame the reorganisation on reductions in funding to further education colleges and calculate that their new arrangements will save around £1 million per year.

This will be done reducing costs at senior management level, merging departments and job cuts.

East Kent College principal Graham Razey
East Kent College principal Graham Razey

Mr Carmichael, who is also Canterbury City Council chief executive, said: “he Governors have worked with College management to review all aspects of the College’s finances and operations.

“We are having to take difficult decisions, but further education is not immune from government cuts to public expenditure, and we have to take action now to ensure that the college continues to thrive - especially in our new partnership with East Kent College.

“We are certain that the decisions we are making will take us positively into the Area Review.”

No details have yet been published about which jobs will be lost.

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