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Newsletter for the West Region College Merger

Edition 2 ▪ February 2013



ver since our three colleges committed to merge in June of last year, one of the burning issues has been what will be the name of the new college? In every workroom and office at some point there has been speculation and conjecture, rumour and hearsay. So what took so long? The first step in finding a new name came as part of the consultation process. One of the three key questions asked was “what do you think our new name should be”. Two hundred and eighty four respondents suggested names for the college and the list was subsequently discussed by the Communication Workstream, The Partnership Steering Group and Shadow Board. In December an Invitation to Tender (ITT) was issued for the Creation of a New College Identity. More than 60 design companies expressed an

CONTENTS STUDENT ASSOCIATION ............... 2 PRINCIPAL DESIGNATE .................. 3 THE CHAIRMAN............................... 4 CAMPUS ROUNDUP ....................... 5 AND FINALLY ................................... 6

interest and the list of appropriate names from the consultation process was sent to them. The companies were asked to select a name from the list and based on their own consumer research present a clear rationale for their selection. They then had to produce initial design concepts to represent the brand personality that would differentiate it in the marketplace and show how this could be stretched to the College’s subbrands and individual campuses.

The Communication Workstream scored the tenders received against the very robust criteria from the ITT and four design companies were selected to pitch their designs to a panel comprising marketing personnel from all three colleges and the Principal Designate. At the end of this process 442 Design from Leith were selected to work with us to develop our corporate identity and brand strategy for the new college. Other tasks the workstream have recently been involved in is the production of the Full-time Course Guide which gives an overview of

full-time programmes available across all three campuses. This is supported by comprehensive course information available on all college websites and applications are now being accepted for these programmes.

Upcoming tasks include design of a website and intranet for the new college, a social media plan and of course the bi-monthly production of Fusion, the newsletter keeping our stakeholders informed about our progress to merger. The workstream will also shortly begin working on the design of the various publications used throughout the colleges once the content of these has been agreed by the other strategic workstreams and subgroups. So … what’s it to be called? The answer is here in this newsletter. Happy reading!



Michelle McCrorie, Reid Kerr


ello! My name is Michelle, I’m the current student President at Reid Kerr. I am working closely with Lee Campbell (SA President) James Watt and Mateusz Jaszczynski (SA President Clydebank) to plan the structure of the new Student Association in the merged college. We think it’s about time things got explained – but simply done! Everyone now has at least heard that a merger will be taking place between Clydebank, James Watt and Reid Kerr. Way back in June, each College Board agreed it would be best for all three colleges to merge as they would crumble if they didn’t – they wouldn’t get the necessary funding they would need to keep teaching you. *Point here – the merger is SAVING the colleges, this is not a bad decision we made for you!

Mateusz Jaszczynski, Clydebank

Lee Campbell, James Watt

Various representatives within the colleges were appointed places on a new Shadow Board; a Board of Management that will determine the future of the new college. The Board meets monthly to discuss everything from government funding to childcare to how your Students Associations will look. The Shadow Board discuss any problems that could arise and they find solutions to each one. They are trying to make sure this process runs as smoothly as possible for you. There are three elected reps from each college on the Board, h t t p : / / w e s t m e rg e r. c l y d e ba n k . a c . u k h t t p : / / w e s t m e rg e r. j a m e s w a t t . a c . u k h t t p : / / w e s t m e rg e r. r e i d ke r r . a c . u k

one representing Teaching Staff, one representing Support Staff and one representing the Student body. The Student Presidents are best suited for this position as they are directly involved throughout the college structure, and they know best what a student wants and needs. All these college reps make sure that everything that gets discussed is done for the benefit of the people involved, and we are in there fighting your corner. So together at these meetings each month what have we actually done? Well we’ve done a lot of the background work, all the legal paperwork and planning for the merger. We’re about to settle on the new college name and the branding and I think once we do that, things will get clearer. What you need to know for definite is that this merger is here to help you – because of it we are able to continue the classes you want to be in, in the colleges and areas you want to be studying in.





he time flown since the last newsletter; and the progress towards merger continues apace. In June 2012 when the three colleges in the West Region made the decision to merge, a strong commitment was given to create a single new college, a new vision, a new identity and culture and a new beginning. The ‘spirit’ was of a strategic, equal partnership where the three colleges came together to strengthen the position of college provision within the region. Since then the Shadow Board has considered and reviewed 2 recognised models for merger to identify the most appropriate structure for the new region. Cognisance was taken of the approaches taken by previous mergers within the education sector and guidance from the Scottish Funding Council.

Models for Merger [


The Phoenix model requires that an entirely new legal and fundable institution is established to take over provision, the employment of staff and the assets and liabilities of the 3 existing colleges. It is recognised that implementation of this model could lead to a lengthy and complex Parliamentary process. The Host model is based on one of the existing colleges acting as the legal vehicle for the creation of the new college. The employment of staff, assets and liabilities of the remaining two partner colleges would transfer to the host. The process of implementation for the host model is significantly less complex than the Phoenix model.

On the basis of a review of both models the Shadow Board concluded that the Host model was the most appropriate and a rigorous review was undertaken to identify which of the 3 partner colleges should be the host. As a result of that it has been proposed that Clydebank College will be the host college; and therefore, the

new statutory entity. I think it is important to reinforce that the host is simply the legal mechanism to transfer assets and liabilities and achieve merger, minimising the complexity normally associated with the adoption of the Phoenix Model.

first, followed by a series of focus groups held across all campuses. Roger will produce a report based on the feedback, the results of which will be made available to staff. I would encourage you take part and look forward to hearing your views.

Corporate Identity

Merger Proposal Document

I am delighted to announce that the proposed name of our new college is ‘West College Scotland’. The final decision was reached after careful consideration of comments received from the consultation and the appointment of the brand design agency, who will work with us over the coming months to build our new corporate identity. Our campus identities will reinforce the importance of local provision and will be named after our local towns: Greenock Campus, Clydebank Campus and Paisley Campus.

We remain on track for our target vesting date of 1 August this year, and our Merger Proposal document is due to be finalised and submitted to the Scottish Funding Council by March. This includes an overview of the proposed management structure for the new college with more detailed information being made available over the coming weeks as part of a consultation process.

We have also launched our first joint prospectus for full time provision across the region. Curriculum teams across the 3 colleges have made significant progress in aligning our courses to ensure prospective students can access clear and consistent course information across the whole region, with the marketing teams across the 3 colleges working together on this in-house production.

Voluntary Severance As you know we launched a Voluntary Severance Scheme across the region in December. The Scheme closed on 31 January and we anticipate contacting those staff who applied over the next couple of weeks. Best wishes

Organisation Culture

Audrey Cumberford

A key challenge going forward will be how we develop the culture of our new college especially in view of the obvious challenges presented as we continue to operate from 3 town campus locations.

Principal Designate

As part of the merger process the Partnership Steering Group is keen to hear the views of staff on how they perceive the current culture(s) across the 3 campuses. A study is planned which will provide ALL staff with an opportunity to have their say and to contribute to ‘how we do things in West College Scotland’. Roger Mullin of Inter-ed will lead the study which will involve both an online survey and the opportunity to attend focus groups. The survey will come




requires the approval of all three college boards prior to submission to the Scottish Funding Council in March. Our meeting in January worked on the document prior to a first review by colleagues in the partner colleges and it was good to have confirmation from them that there were no major omissions, and to receive useful suggestions concerning strengthening the student aspects and more emphasis on the work our colleges do in their own communities.


irst of all I would like to wish all staff and students across the region a very happy, healthy and successful 2013. It’s amazing to realise that we are already into February and there have been two Shadow Board meetings since I last wrote to you. Time is most certainly not on our side in this process, but thanks to the huge efforts and energy of those involved, we are making very good progress towards our goal of creating a new college for our region.

The January meeting started with a presentation from Stephanie Miller from SPARQS, the national body, hosted by NUS, to support student engagement across the sector. Stephanie updated the Board on the work being done, in conjunction with our Student Associations across the region, to develop strong, autonomous bodies. Our student officers are receiving training and development to support them through the process of merger and beyond. It was an informative presentation and we hope to hear directly from our own Student Association representatives at a future meeting. Both meetings of the Shadow Board were focused on the preparation of the Merger Proposal document which

The comments we received were included in the final draft which was considered by the Shadow Board on 4 February and following a good discussion at the meeting, we were unanimous in recommending the Merger Proposal document be forwarded to the three college boards for their approval; we now await their decisions. Other items noted or agreed by the Board included the launch of the voluntary severance scheme across the region, the work being done in conjunction with the Ayrshire Region and, most importantly, the funding being made available in support of our merger. We have also now had confirmation of our SFC funding for 2013-14, including a welcome increase in the capital grant, and funding for the work with Ayrshire in respect of ICT issues around the separation of the Ayrshire parts of James Watt College.

Supported Learning Information Afternoon

Anti-sectarianism Exhibit

I am enormously grateful to all colleagues who are working in the many project teams across the colleges; the effort is terrific and is greatly appreciated. With best wishes

Michael G S Yuille Chair of the Shadow Board

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Outstanding Educator David Renton

ROUNDUP CLYDEBANK COLLEGE Shortlisted Six Times! We are thrilled to be nominated in six of the nine categories for the 2013 College Development Network Marketing Awards. With nine awards spanning the full range of the marketing activity we are delighted to be nominated for the following categories: Integrated Marketing Campaign, Promotional Literature, Market/Marketing Research, Customer Experience, Events and Outstanding Contribution - Team.

Supported Learning Information Afternoon Clydebank recently hosted its first Learning Support and Guidance Information Afternoon. The afternoon saw a fantastic turnout of teaching professionals from schools around the Dunbartonshire area. The information afternoon was designed to give teaching professionals within the learning support and guidance community, the chance to meet and learn more about the courses and support available for young people within the College.

Let’s Get To Work As part of our ‘Let’s Get To Work’ programmes we have forged a partnership with Jobcentre Plus, West Dunbartonshire Council and City Technical Services in order to help get people retrained and into employment. City Technical Services, who are one of Scotland’s largest gas services companies, have taken on 12 of the Gas Foundation students, providing them with specialised on the job training. The course has been a huge success with some candidates securing employment on completion of the course.

JAMES WATT COLLEGE Anti-sectarianism exhibit scores students documentary slot NC Art and Design students are to be featured in an upcoming documentary focusing on anti-sectarianism, after they produced an art exhibition on the same theme. Over the last few months, the students have been working to raise awareness of the issue, and successfully did so, by hosting the recent Anti-Sectarianism Art Exhibition. The class undertook various workshops in order to learn all about sectarianism and how it manifests itself in society. It was this work which caught the attention of Chris Fallen from Tomorrow’s People Inverclyde, a national employment charity that is working to transform people’s lives through work. Chris Fallen, from the charity said, “It became clear that through the James Watt College students’ work, the artists could contribute to the dialogue on sectarianism much more freely and in depth than with mere words, affording them a vehicle/environment to express themselves in a way in which they felt safe and unhindered to do so.” The class decided to link their project with the ‘Gie’s Peace’ initiative, which aims to work in partnership, with individuals and organisations, in order to raise awareness of sectarianism and bring the community together in the name of peace and great entertainment. Essential Skills lecturer, Emma Maxwell said, “The class have undertaken various workshops in order to learn all about sectarianism and how it manifests itself in society and I’m pleased their efforts have been recognised.”


REID KERR COLLEGE Outstanding Educator Inspires New Learning College lecturer David Renton was among the outstanding educators who came together from around Europe recently to participate in a ‘Microsoft 24hour Appathon’. David’s ‘Math Mage’ was recognised as a success by Microsoft, who will be publishing the app and agreed a partnership to produce teaching materials for their new app development platform, Touch Develop.

Enabling Energy Doosan Power Systems, who specialise in providing products and services to the global power generation industry, have been working closely with students, who produced a selection of Fine Art and Graphic Design work to be displayed in the company’s Crawley headquarters. A DPS spokesperson said, “The opportunity to work with the Art and Design students was a hugely positive experience for the team here. We were extremely impressed by the way the students engaged with the project theme ‘enabling energy’”.

Vogue Italia Finds Fresh Talent The Italian edition of fashion and lifestyle magazine Vogue, has become a platform for some of the best work produced by three HND Photography students. Vogue Italia has welcomed work from the College’s aspiring photographers for their on-line edition of ‘PhotoVogue’. Robert Tabor, Head of Photography said, “PhotoVogue has given our students a unique opportunity to showcase their talent to an international audience. Work has been selected by Vogue editorial staff and ranges from fashion photography to lifestyle images.” The student portfolios can be found at


...AND FINALLY Project Manager’s Update The workstreams have completed activities comparing how each of the colleges work and identifying where the similarities and differences exist. Over the next few months the focus of the workstreams will be looking at how the new college should work in the future. One of the first tasks will be to look at the ‘student journey’ and experience, from when a future student enquires about a course right through to when they graduate and beyond. Work has also started on the planning of how best to separate the North Ayrshire campuses from the rest of James Watt College. This is being done in conjunction with the Ayrshire regional team and aims

to minimise the disruption to staff and students. We need to ensure that the plans are robust and take account of the requirement to manage James Watt as a whole entity until vesting date and in addition be ready to let the North Ayrshire campuses connect with the Ayrshire region as soon as can be managed. We have now updated the project structure to reflect all the work streams and subgroups to show who from each college is contributing to them. These will continue to change as we progress towards vesting date.

DID YOU KNOW? The new college will:


Steph Robertson Project Manager

Launch of Full-time Course Guide Clydebank, James Watt and Reid Kerr Colleges have just launched their brand new joint course guide for full-time courses starting August 2013. The guide gives a full list of the courses on offer at each of the campuses and is supported on each of the college’s websites by full information on all programmes. This eye catching document will promote the three colleges’ courses in the run up to the merger and is available NOW!


Fusion Newsletter Issue 2  


Fusion Newsletter Issue 2