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Reigate College to help struggling Coulsdon Sixth Form College under new federation

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A LEADING Surrey college is to help improve struggling Coulsdon Sixth Form College, it was announced today.
Reigate College, rated outstanding by Ofsted, will provide "strategic leadership and management" to Coulsdon under a new federation between the two. 
The move is the first step in a plan to merge the two colleges if Coulsdon becomes recognised as 'outstanding' by Ofsted, Reigate's principal Steve Oxlade said.
The announcement follows Coulsdon being rated 'inadequate' by Ofsted last month, its second such rating since late 2011.
Mike Bonsier, chair of governors at Coulsdon, said: "We asked for support and help and Reigate was the first to come forward and offer the kind of partnership we all felt comfortable with.
"As a Beacon College, Reigate has a track record of excellence and is convinced we can achieve great things together."
Reigate principal Mr Oxlade, executive head of the new federation, said today: "The Reigate Way is not rocket science – it is about delivering the right courses for committed students taught by teachers who love teaching and have a genuine affinity for 16 – 19 year olds.
"Managers have to value staff and students and believe in them; put all this together and you have a recipe for success."
He added the colleges would merge when prospective students could be confident "the quality of education they receive is as good at one college as it is at the other."
He said: "When that happens, and Coulsdon is recognised by Ofsted as being 'outstanding', we will merge together.
"In the meantime we've got to align our systems, procedures and expectations to drive towards that objective."
Tim Pollard, Croydon Council's cabinet member for children, families and learning, said the council had been helping the colleges towards the deal.
He said: "Educational standards are amongst the council's highest priorities and any move that has the potential to improve academic prospects for our young people is to be very much welcomed."

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