Plans for colleges in Willesden and Wembley to merge with counterpart in Westminster are axed

The College of North West London has called of a proposed merger with City of Westminster College

The College of North West London has called of a proposed merger with City of Westminster College - Credit: Archant

Proposals by the College of North West London and City of Westminster College to save funds have been spiked

A proposed merger between colleges in Brent and Westminster that was met with opposition from teachers has been called off, the Times can reveal.

The College of North West London (CNWL) had previously announced plans to merge with the City of Westminster College (CoW) in a bid to save funds.

But the plans were met with stern criticism from union members and this week the Times reported they were considering strike action unless a thorough consultation was launched.

It was also revealed that politician Matthew Hancock, the parliamentary under secretary of state for business and education had criticised a similar proposal by two colleges in Birmingham.

But this morning (Thurs) the principals of both colleges have written to staff members informing them a merger will not take place.

The email, seen by the Times, says: “Over the last few months this potential merger has been carefully considered by the Corporations of both colleges.

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“During that time there have been changes nationally that can make a merger option less attractive.”

The email adds: “In particular, recent decisions and reports from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and Ofsted have led both colleges to agree not to continue to develop this merger proposal.”

The CNWL currently has two buildings in Wembley and Willesden, and another in Kilburn that is due to be sold, it offers around 250 courses for residents.

CoW is based in Paddington Green, Queens Park and Marylebone and caters for around 7,000 part and full time students each year.

Indro Sen, branch secretary of University and College Union (UCU) told the Times: “The University and College Union would like to take this opportunity to thank both the college governors for taking a bold decision and a right one in the current climate. “I would also like to thank all our members- ordinary lecturers and managers , who through reasoned discussions in staff rooms and finally through their preparedness to take industrial action have finally made it possible for sense to prevail.”