Strategic Assignments Including Merger Project Management

We have extensive and successful experience of working across a wide range of strategic assignments with Colleges nationally including:


  • Post-merger project management including providing specialist HR advice to integrate the Guildford College Group (3 Colleges including Sixth Form, GFE and Land based) into the Activate Learning Group. This included, but was not limited to, support with curriculum integration, estates planning and restructure of staffing.
  • All aspects of the merger project management for five FE College and Sixth Form Colleges. This included all aspects of project management including the creation of implementation plans with work streams, recruitment of Principal and Executive Team, developing governance structures including the membership of the new Board, public consultation, all aspects of HR and TUPE including the establishment of a new contract of employment, policies and procedures and the associated consultation with staff and unions and reporting to the Merger Steering Group on a monthly basis.
  • Successful completion of the Transaction Unit Restructuring Application and all associated legal processes for three Colleges
  • Culture mapping exercise within a Group College Structure (eight colleges in total)
  • Lead on the independent evaluation and feasibility studies for five Colleges to establish their options prior to the Area Wide Reviews. The reports and associated presentations for the Governing Bodies detailed recommendation for future action including formal collaborations and mergers and the benefits and risks associated with this.
  • Review of the STEM Curriculum for a LEP City Region

Change Management

The education sector has seen real change over the last few years and will continue to so for the foreseeable future.

From our work within the public sector we know it takes more than structures and processes to embed change.  It takes leadership, staff engagement and new ways of operating.

We do not take a ‘one size fits all approach.  Instead we take time to understand the organisation, talking to key people and understanding the core values.  We work closely with you to develop the vision, strategy and rational for change and associated action plan.

Contact us on 07496 845980 to discuss your requirements in more detail with us.

HR Support

We are able to offer an extensive range of HR services and support to meet the needs of your business. These include:

  • Performance Management
  • Discipline/Grievance Investigations
  • Contract review
  • Staff and Trade Union Consultation and negotiations
  • HR Audits
  • TUPE requirements and consultation
  • Development of staffing structures and associated restructuring processes
  • Contracts of employment, policies and procedures reviews
  • Establishment of new contracts of employment
  • Workforce Development Planning
  • HR system alignment
  • Psychometric Testing

Executive Mentoring Support

We have an excellent track record of providing executive coaching to Principals.

We are also able to provide mentoring support to a range of middle/lower managers including career planning and guidance.

Contact us to discuss how our coaching and mentoring services can help your organisation.

Governance Support

We provide a range of support for governors and the governance process. Services range from sourcing Clerking support through advice on questions arising from the application of the Instrument and Articles to helping Boards with strategic reviews. We have extensive experience of working directly with Chairs and Governors in a wide variety of situations providing practical solutions to the challenges Boards face.

Recruitment and Selection

We have extensive experience of the Sector and have an exceptional track record of working with College Boards on the successful search and selection of a number of senior posts including:


Principals/CEOs roles:  

  • Southport College and KGV Sixth Form College
  • Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College, Leicester.
  • Cheshire College South and West, Crewe
  • Carmell College, Merseyside


Deputy Principal/ Vice Principals

  • New College Durham
  • Cheshire College South and West


Chief Financial Officers

  • Cheshire College South and West


Through our experience of search and selection we understand the value and importance of:

  • Both supporting and challenging Boards to determine the person required in terms of skills, experience and personal qualities to lead the College through a challenging time for the FE Sector
  • Conducting a full and thorough search, primarily through a proactive direct approach, supported by an extensive social media campaign and national advert to attract high quality candidates
  • A comprehensive long listing process to ensure that candidates presented to the Board have the required skills, experience and character with the best possible ‘fit’ with the College and its values. Thorough background testing is an essential part of this process
  • Ensuring that we recommend and manage a thorough and professional assessment procedure
  • Keeping candidates ‘warm’ up to the selection process and ensuring attendance
  • Managing the post appointment process for both the successful and unsuccessful candidates as part of effective reputation management
  • Clear and professional advice, regular communication and concise reports to support Governors throughout this critical process.

Apprenticeship Levy –  strategy, implementation and profitability

We provide a range of support with the Apprenticeship Levy

Services include:

  • An overview of the business strategy and business plans
  • Strategy around Levy
  • Identify competitors and their offer
  • Review of Apprentices  conversion stats /retention /progress to EPA
  • Profitability of Apprenticeships?
  • Recommendations to clarify target market to align with business strategy.

Managing Change for the reformed Functional Skills, Maths and English, 2019

We provide a range of support to organisations to prepare for the new reforms in Functional Skills, Maths and English, September 2019

  • Support for smooth implementation of the changes to functional Maths and English.
  • Reviewing processes and resources
  • Upskilling staff
  • Planning and Preparation to minimise disruption to the organisation
  • Taking proactive steps and managing change