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Northumberland College chief executive Ellen Thinnesen with Sunderland College chair of governors Rob Lawson.
Jane Imrie

North East colleges announce official merger

Two North East colleges have officially merged today and rebranded as the Education Partnership North East.

Sunderland College has merged with Northumberland College, creating one of the largest academic, professional and technical education colleges in the UK.

Northumberland College chief executive, Ellen Thinnesen, commented: “I’m delighted to announce the creation of Education Partnership North East and welcome the real benefits the merger brings to the educational, social and economic needs of the region, and local communities of each college.

“We are ambitious for our college’s future and will continue to build upon our success to ensure the student experience, and external partnerships locally, regionally and nationally are the best they can be.”

With a combined annual financial turnover of £54m and a student body of over 21,000, the new partnership will develop a post-16 curriculum across a range of industry sectors, aiming to improve sustainability, protect public funds and maximise opportunities for students, apprentices, employers and local communities.

The partnership is the latest collaboration for Sunderland College, after it successfully merged with Hartlepool Sixth Form College in September 2017.

Rob Lawson, Sunderland College chair of governors, added: “We’re delighted to announce the creation of our new regional partnership. The colleges, who are already working together to share their expertise and strengths, will provide high-quality education programmes combined with outstanding learning experiences.”

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