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Thank you to all stakeholders who responded to our public consultation on the potential merger between Weymouth College and Kingston Maurward College. The public consultation has now closed and the results are in – you can view the results here.

Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs



Following the announcement that the governing bodies of Kingston Maurward College and Weymouth College have agreed to merge in principle, we wanted to provide you with answers to some frequently asked questions.

You may like to read this alongside the public consultation document found here: ……

If you have any further queries over the coming weeks, please do not hesitate to contact us. Beyond the public consultation, we are keen that everyone interested in our college, either now or in the future, is well informed and given a proper chance to have their say.

What does a merged college mean for the people of Dorset?


By combining the existing resources and expertise of both partners, the merged college will give students, employers, and the residents of Dorset even better education and training opportunities. We will continue to work innovatively and meet the needs of our communities and employers, as well as the local, regional, and national economies.

Are there any downsides to the merger?


As with all projects of this size, the merger process does carry some risks which have been identified as part of the merger plan. Experienced project managers are working closely with both college Principals to support with this, all overseen by a Joint Steering Group with joint governor representatives from both colleges.

We have comprehensive plans in place to mitigate and manage the identified risks and ensure the merger is delivered smoothly. Both colleges strongly believe that merger benefits significantly outweigh any potential risks.

When will we know if the merger is definitely happening?

The public consultation outcome finishes on 30 April 2024, and an update regarding the outcome will be provided by 27 June 2024.

How will merger progress and developments be communicated?


The Joint Steering Group, which has equal representation from each College Board, is committed to ensuring all staff and stakeholders are informed of any developments. A regularly reviewed communication plan is in place to keep everyone up-to-date using a range of channels.


What are the dates of the mergers?


If agreed, the merger is proposed to take place on 1 August 2024.



How will the new college ensure that quality is challenged and maintained?


The newly merged college will retain good practices that already exist in both institutions. These will be evaluated, and the most appropriate and best processes utilised to further improve services. Governors and leaders will ensure that quality is maintained and improved.  By building on strong foundations and learning from each other, both colleges will share best practice, resources, and improve learning environments for students and apprentices.


When would changes start to take effect?


Merging two colleges is highly complex. Although the merger is due to take place on 1 August 2024, operationally and practically, there will be considerable work to ensure we gain the maximum benefit. We are keen that the two campuses retain their unique character and curriculum offer within the new college.

How large will the merged college be?


The combined college will have a turnover of around £24m. If it takes place, the merger will be the biggest change in further education in Dorset since the 1940s.


Progressing the merger will be a time-consuming and complicated process that could take resource away from core college business. How will you ensure students are unaffected and remain the focus?


Governors and the leadership teams are incredibly mindful of current and new students’ best interests. We have clear priorities for further quality improvement and student support. To help achieve these, the merger process is being overseen by a Joint Steering Group which is supported by specialist project managers.

How will the proposed merger affect students applying for September 2024?


We are committed to ensuring it is “business as usual” for our students and employers. During the merger process, students should apply in the usual way and follow the existing application guidance of each college. Our priority is that students continue to have the high-quality education and training they expect.

Applicants will be kept up-to-date with the latest news, and both college websites will be updated with any useful information as it arises. The majority of students will continue to have their programmes delivered on the campus they currently expect to attend.

Student FAQs

I am a current student, partway through my course. How would the proposed merger impact me?

If the merger takes place, you will not experience any significant change in your college experience. Students will remain on the same campus. Your teachers and other college staff will continue to support you in achieving your qualifications as usual.

As a current student, will I need to go to a different campus for my studies?

No. Students will remain at the campus where they currently study. At this stage, there are no plans that would require students to travel between campuses.

Will I still be able to access student support services at my current college after September 2024 if the colleges merge?

Yes. Students will still be able to access the student support functions that they do now.  New students who join in September 2024 will access student support services at each campus in the same way as existing students.

How will the proposed merger affect students applying for courses starting in September 2024?

As happens now, new students should apply to the college campus where their chosen course is held and follow the application guidance and procedures. Courses will continue to be delivered on the campus site you expect to attend.  Enrolment will be carried out at each campus as normal.

Could the proposed merger benefit students?

Definitely! Bringing our two colleges together would be very exciting.  The proposed merger will offer more course choices and flexibility, boost investment and funding, give you access to more resources and facilities, and create more social activities and events for you and your college friends to enjoy.

Will it affect my qualification(s)?

No. Virtually all our qualifications are certified by external awarding bodies, so they will not be affected in any way. For example, if you are studying for a degree or postgraduate award, you will still receive your degree from the awarding partner.

Will there be any course cancellations?

There will be no changes from the merger process. However, it is standard practice for colleges to continually review courses to ensure they are meeting the needs of both students and employers.  We will communicate with you about any such changes should they arise.

Will universities, employers, and training providers know about the merger?   

Yes, we are communicating with all our stakeholders and partners about the proposed changes as part of the consultation. Your progression routes (what you choose to do next) will not change because of the merger.

What happens next?

The two college governing bodies have set up a ‘Joint Steering Group’ to oversee the merger process and necessary legal and financial procedures.  Both colleges will work closely together over the next few months to ensure any change is as smooth as possible.

How can I keep up to date with developments?

As merger discussions progress, we will keep new student applicants and existing students up-to-date with the latest news. The merger pages on each college website will continue to be updated so that everyone can access the information.  Our priority throughout the process is to ensure that new applicants and students already studying with us continue to have the high-quality education and training that they expect.


BBC News – Weymouth and Kingston Maurward colleges plan to merge

Click here to read

FE Week – Dorset Merger on the Cards

Click here to read

Dorset Echo – Weymouth College and Kingston Maurward Merger Plans

Click here to read

Radio Interview – BBC Dorset Breakfast (23 minutes in)

Click here to listen

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