Merger Plans Announced

Alton College and Havant & South Downs College (HSDC) have announced ‘exciting’ merger plans to ensure a ‘strong partnership together’. 

Chair of Governors at Alton College, Ian Gibson, stated ‘we are excited about the vision of enhancing and building on the outstanding academic provision at both institutions through this new partnership opportunity’.  

The Principal and Chief Executive of Alton College, Sara Russell added ‘Alton College has a long and rich history as an outstanding tertiary and Sixth Form College, serving the needs of Alton and East Hampshire for 40 years and this partnership represents a new and exciting chapter for the College and the local community’.

She continued ‘the partnership with HSDC will maximise the opportunities available to students and will build on the educational character and values of both colleges with a continued joint commitment to excellence’.

In 2017, students and staff at Alton College celebrated another year of outstanding results with a 99.2% pass rate for A Levels and 100% pass rate for Vocational courses.

In a statement, Principal and Chief Executive of HSDC, Mike Gaston said the vision is to ‘maintain the outstanding provision through the important partnership, not only to reinforce A Levels but to look at the expansion of Higher Education and T Levels’. 

He added: “We are really pleased that we have been asked to join with Alton College and are very excited about this opportunity”.   

He continued: “The board at HSDC are delighted that Alton College have chosen HSDC to work in close partnership with, the aim being to secure a merger by April 2019. This merger has the aim of providing wider opportunities for all our learners. 

“Havant & South Downs College prides itself in a high-quality provision both in academic, professional and technical education. Only last week HSDC were chosen as the only college in the Portsmouth area to deliver T Levels from 2020. Earlier this year, figures from the Department for Education showed Havant & South Downs College to be the top College for academic and vocational excellence in the Portsmouth area.

“We have achieved so much in such a short space of time with the merger between Havant Sixth Form College and South Downs College, and it is excellent that Alton College have recognised that success.” 

Mike added that the name brand of Alton College will remain unchanged however will become part of a college group with HSDC. 

Chair of the Board at HSDC, Mike Bateman, said: “We look forward to working with Alton College to create one collective voice to ensure a strong and ambitious future together.”

Both Colleges see the merger as a ‘partnership of equals’ and both bring considerable strengths and assets to the partnership.