The View - Issue 2
Second edition of THE VIEW, the newsletter for New College Lanarkshire. Up until vesting day, this newsletter will be produced monthly to give everyone across the two colleges up-to-date information on the merger process.
THE View latest merger news issue 2 | maY 2013 principal Designate Appointment The advertisement for the Principal Designate has now been published in the national press with a closing date of Friday 17 May. Interviews will be held at the end of May. For more information, please visit www.newcollegelanarkshire.co.uk Merger Proposal Document We remain on track for our target vesting date of 1st November 2013. The Merger Proposal Document, which includes the merged Collegeâ€™s vision and educational benefits, has now been finalised and submitted to the Scottish Funding Council (SFC). The SFC site evaluation visit will take place w/c 20th May 2013 and their findings will be reported back to the Scottish Government and Cabinet Secretary by 10th June 2013. Cultural Analysis A key challenge going forward will be how we develop the culture of our new college, especially as we will be operating across a number of different campus locations. Roger Mullin, of Inter-ed has been commissioned to conduct an independent assessment to ensure that both cultures are understood. The focus groups will also provide the opportunity to discuss your hopes and vision for the new College. Roger will produce a report based on the feedback, the results of which will be made available to staff in June. We encourage you to take part and look forward to hearing your views. Focus Groups Cumbernauld College Thursday 9th & Friday 10th May Motherwell College Thursday16th & Friday 17th May Consultation – What you said As part of the merger process, a wide range of stakeholders were asked for their views on the vision for the new college as presented in our consultation document. Breakdown of respondents by category Students Staff Employers Individuals Partners Elected Representatives 33% 62% 0.6% 1.9% 2.3% 0.3% Q5. To what extent do you agree with the merger as set out in the merger consultation document? Overall, staff are positive about the merger process, with 63% of staff “strongly agreeing” or “agreeing” to the proposed merger of both colleges. Two respondents ‘disagreed’/’strongly disagreed’ with the proposal. Q6. What impact would the merger have on education provision at the two colleges? Staff believe that the merger will impact positively on educational provision through an improved curriculum, better access and progression and greater teaching resources. Staff also expressed an interest in receiving more communication on the merger process. “Offer sustainabilitiy in this precarious economic climate. Provide opportunities for staff to broaden their experience across the curriculum and open up opportunities for staff who have expertise in other curriculum areas to get involved in teaching in those other areas.” (Staff member, Cumbernauld College) Below is the analysis of the feedback we received from you as staff. A copy of the full report including responses from learners and other key stakeholders will be available shortly at www.newcollegelanarkshire.co.uk. Staff from each college were invited to share their views of the merger thorough an online survey, ‘college conversations’ and a ‘merger online drop box’. In total, 191 staff responses were received. Initial consultation has taken place with trade unions and staff representatives, with a more detailed consultation planned. “Will bring together best practice across the colleges and streamline access and progression routes for learners. Reduction in core costs allowing resource to be allocated to primary task of education and learning.” (Staff member, Motherwell College) Q7. What impact would the merger have on Learners at Cumbernauld College and Motherwell College? The majority of staff across both colleges were positive about the impact the merger would have on education training including improved curriculum, better access to learning, progression opportunities and greater teaching resources. “Hopefully widen opportunities for students from all colleges concerned and ensure security of current provision. Increase progression opportunities for students across campuses where appropriate.” (Staff member, Cumbernauld College) “If there is to be any impact on students I hope it would be a positive impact and not a negative one.” “Probably not that much initially, as I think they will still attend the same campuses.” (Staff member, Motherwell College) Q9. Do you believe it is important to retain the names Cumbernauld and Motherwell as main campus names? A high number of staff, 87% believe that it is important that the new merged college retains Cumbernauld, Motherwell and East Dunbartonshire as campus names. Q10. Do you have any other comments? Additional comments received focused on key concerns and key hopes of the proposed merger. Key concerns include job security, potential travel issues (for students and staff) and loss of culture. Key hopes include better job opportunities and job security, an enhanced curriculum, greater innovation and diversity and improved facilities and resources. College Conversations Four staff college conversations were held at each college. The table below identifies the key findings from these sessions: Staff Feedback: College Conversations Hopes for the merger: concerns for the merger: Job opportunities and security Information on workstreams Retain culture (both colleges) Structure â€“ consultation and feedback Harmonisation/T&Cs Learners unaffected Enhanced curriculum No compulsory redundancies VS scheme opportunities Job security VS scheme Loss of individual identities Name that can be future proofed Cultural changes Requirements to be in place for Vesting Day: Name and brand Website and staff email Telephony Staff phone directory Course listing Staff ID cards and lanyards East Dunbartonshire Campus remains Travel between campuses Staff away days remain Anxiety about relocation Communication â€“ partners/ awarding bodies Smooth transition Timescales Staff structure New commercial opportunities Harmonisation/T&Cs Policies and procedures Department consistencies Staff morale Forward plan â€“ 18 months Sharing of good practice Loss of support function so not fit for purpose New contracts/T&Cs More innovation More diversity Improved facilities and resources Continued social events Open communication Quality standards maintained Other two Lanarkshire colleges join Communication to stakeholders Loss of two semester calendar Curriculum across campuses Leadership style and changes in line management Loss of good practice Commercial activity vs. curriculum Continuity in European funding Will we have to merge again with other two Lanarkshire colleges? Losing learners to Glasgow Desk screensaver Staff locations Equal learner funding at all campuses Signage Stationery and materials VS scheme Farewell party and launch event Internal communications Student Association Merger Co-ordinator Update Since the last issue, the formal merger consultation has now concluded. Some of the general feedback from the ‘College Conversations’ has indicated that staff across both colleges would like to know a bit more about the workstreams and what they are actually doing! As you know, there are nine workstreams and currently their main focus is to identify those tasks which are critical to have in place for Vesting Day. Each workstream is also working to develop project plans and risk registers to ensure the smooth implementation of all tasks. Everyone involved so far has been keen to share their knowledge and ideas and as the merger progresses, many more of you will be involved in this process. The next couple of pages will take you through each workstream’s progress to date. Please remember, if you have any questions on the merger, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org Workstream: Communications Work-stream members: Lead: Heather Urquhart Co-ordinators: Karyn Lumsden and Lisa Parr Purpose of work-stream: To review current communication frameworks, policies, procedures and cultures. Progress to date: • Consultation process complete as of 19th April. Learner, staff and public consultation have taken place and consultation response report produced. • Culture and Values study in progress • Shortlist of names for the new college has been identified from the consultation and will be published for further consultation. • Development of a communications plan and crisis communication plan. workstream: peri-curriculum Work-stream members: Lead: Heather Urquhart Co-ordinators: Brian Casey and Iain McCallum Progress to date: Purpose of work-stream: Ensuring the establishment of a framework to ensure and support the delivery of high quality, innovative Learning & Teaching. • Establishment of a framework of policies and procedures • Identifying the awarding bodies used by both colleges and ensuring a smooth transition to the new college • Identifying the policies and procedures which must be developed and implemented before vesting day • Considering the factors leading to the development of a combined VLE across all campuses. workstream: Curriculum Work-stream members: Lead: David Fairweather Co-ordinators: Derek Smeall Progress to date: Purpose of work-stream: To review the breadth of curriculum across the colleges and to arrange in cohesive groupings. These groupings should be as far as possible symbiotic in terms of subject discipline and will constitute a set of sub-streams each with an appointed Sub-Coordinator. • Desk audit of provision across both colleges • Review of provision in terms of cognate groupings and Dominant Programme Groups (DPG) • Initial meetings with Heads of Department and Faculty Heads to compare levels of delivery and resources within each college. Workstream: Information Systems Work-stream members: Lead: David Fairweather Co-ordinators: Andy Coulter, John Morrison and Jason Quinn Purpose of work-stream: To audit and review all information systems processes policies and procedures and collectively assess which of these will be the best fit for the merger of colleges. Progress to date: • Design and set up of core communication portal for work streams • Audit of systems across colleges with prioritisation of key deliverables • Outline assessment of IT resource needs to consolidate common systems • Progress on specific tasks e.g. JANET linkage across campuses. workstream: Finance Work-stream members: Lead: Hugh Logan Co-ordinators: Hugh Campbell, Iain Clark and Linda Shearer Progress to date: Purpose of work-stream: To determine the most appropriate methodology, integrated financial systems, procedures and policy. • Agreed on accounting method for merger • Agreed on financial protocols for asset management • Full discussion on bursary policy and financial support policies (on-going). workstream: human resources Work-stream members: Lead: Carol Scott Co-ordinators: Brian Gilchrist and Gerry Waters Purpose of work-stream: To review systems, policies and practices, incorporating equalities across both HR departments. Progress to date: • Sharing of standard documentation for transactional management • Site visits to begin a review of the HR database and payroll systems • Discussion of standard reports generated by HR submitted on regular basis for relevant committees. workstream: Commercial & Non-SFC Business Work-stream members: Lead: Derek Smeall Co-ordinators: John McNair and Jim Sweeney Progress to date: Purpose of work-stream: To review and map current non-SFC funded business including commercial, International, SDS, prisons and ESF. Analyse current findings to inform medium and long term action plans, supporting transition through the merger process. • Mapping of current non SFS funded business including common and best practice • Identify status of standing contracts post-merger and identify any potential risk • Analyse and review current strategies, practices and structures • Provide recommendations for the prioritisation of the integration/joint working of income strands. workstream: Student Support and Services Work-stream members: Lead: Carol Scott Co-ordinators: Jim Campbell, Carole Gray. Progress to date: Purpose of work-stream: To ensure the learner experience is not adversely impacted with an opportunity to enhance the service through reviewing practices and facilities across both Colleges. • Review of Library provision at each College and consideration of streamlining journal subscriptions • Commencement of work reviewing the application of Student Funding • Collation of information regarding student service provision. workstream: Environment and Infrastructure Work-stream members: Lead: Carol Scott Co-ordinators: Tom Dodds, Alan Hewitt. Purpose of work-stream: To review the Estates Strategies and working practices as determined by the Learning and Teaching Strategy and proposed support services infrastructure to support the environment and health and safety of the new College. Progress to date: • Collation of minor works and capital projects information • Site visit to observe Estates Helpdesk facility and opportunity of extending the service • Review of provision of Health Surveillance • Commencement of Statement of Intent on Health and Safety as required for Vesting Date • Review of current contracts to assess opportunities for potential savings and integration of services. Merger Dropbox Last month, we launched our merger online drop box on both college intranets. This is another way for you to ask any questions, voice any concerns or simply make a suggestion. This month, we’ve had two questions submitted to our merger dropbox. Please feel free to submit your questions or make any suggestions that could feature in the next issue of The View. Question I want to know if there is going to be a Voluntary Severance Scheme offered? Answer The work of our staff is highly valued and their input throughout this process is essential. Together we will broaden opportunities for staff to become involved in a wider range of teaching, management and support roles, whilst the increased size of the organisation will provide new opportunities in terms of career progression and staff development. We will seek to avoid compulsory redundancies where possible and offer a voluntary severance scheme. Question When will the proposed new curriculum be implemented? Answer Changes, if any in the curriculum, will not come into effect until session 2014/15. The portfolio planning process will commence in October 2013, with a view to promoting the joint curriculum to the public in January 2014. Name Suggestions A total of 63 name suggestions for the new college were submitted through the online consultation from a mix of learners, staff and stakeholders. Several more suggestions have been received offline. A shortlist of names will be drawn up for further consultation to identify the new name for the merged college.