Leek and Buxton merger becomes official

MERGER: Professor John Coyne greeting staff at the College and unveiling the new signage. Photo contributed.
MERGER: Professor John Coyne greeting staff at the College and unveiling the new signage. Photo contributed.

MEMBERS of staff of Leek College joined with their new colleagues at partner institution, Buxton College today (Wednesday August 1) to mark their official welcome to the University of Derby group.

The University of Derby’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Coyne, and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Liz Barnes, met with staff and announced two senior appointments for the joint Further Education provision.

The previous Head of Buxton College, Mary Blauciak, has been appointed Vice Principal Curriculum and Quality; and previous Vice-Principal of Leek College, Julia Leonard, has become Vice-Principal of Operations. The provision will be headed up by Professor Liz Barnes following the retirement of former Principal, Rob Morrey, who was pivotal in forging the partnership.

Professor Coyne said: “Over the last year we have worked closely with Leek College and its community to explore the benefits of this merger to their students, industry partners and local communities, and were pleased to discover we had so much support.

“We know that combining the expertise of Leek with Buxton College and the University will bring enhanced opportunities to learners from across the Staffordshire Moorlands and the High Peak. We see this relationship as a tremendous boost for education in the area.”

The new Vice-Principal of Operations for the joint FE provider, Julia Leonard, added: “Many staff from across the University, Leek and Buxton have worked closely over the past 15 months to enable us to join together today.

“This hard work is testament to the optimism we have for the future, and our shared belief in the positive benefits for learners and the wider community of this merger.”

Vice-Principal for Curriculum and Quality, Mary Blauciak, said: “Over the next year we shall work to build capacity and excellence by developing the existing and complementary provision, and pulling together the expertise and specialism of both organisations.

“There will also be opportunities for both organisations to benefit from the provision offered by each other and to extend the range of the curriculum at each site.”

For more information on any of the courses offered by Buxton or Leek Colleges, and for details on how to start from this September, visit websites www.buxtoncollege.ac.uk or www.leek.ac.uk