We would like to thank Peter Ryder and Nicola Tomlinson from Rockborn who have played a pivotal role in the successful formation of our College Partnership. Their highly professional approach and extensive knowledge of the merger process ensured a seamless and timely delivery. “We are now looking forward to building on the strengths of our new partnership to ensure the highest quality education and technical skills for all.

Principal of Nelson and Colne College Partnership Amanda Melton

Nicola and Peter have given us outstanding support in developing the application for the Restructuring Fund and the detailed Merger Plan. They have formed excellent relationships with Governors, managers and staff and built confidence throughout. They understand both the political and practical aspects of this work and have dealt successfully with both. I have no hesitation in recommending them.

Jasbir Dhesi, Principal/CEO
Cheshire College – South and West

I worked with Rockborn, specifically with Pete Ryder and Nicola Tomlinson during our recent merger preparations including the submission of the College’s Restructuring Application. Their advice and practical support gave confidence throughout this complex process and helped us to achieve a successful outcome in all aspects. They worked well with both Governors and Staff and never let us lose sight of the end objective. I thoroughly recommend them.

John Clark, Principal/CEO – Southport College

There is absolutely nothing more valuable than coaching to enhance and develop skills and confidence in the role. As an individual passionate about education and what FE does, the step into Principalship was one that came with a much higher need to look after myself as an individual. The coaching provided by Peter was without doubt the most critical moment of my first 12 months. Peter was able to both challenge my assumptions and thinking but importantly help me to step into the role of a Principal and continuously balance the good days with the more challenging days, walking alongside me as I faced unique experiences as a leader on my journey and that of the college I am leading. Absolutely priceless.

Simon Cook, Principal, Mid Kent College

Peter and Nicola have recently provided merger support to the College which I Chair. Their experience and advice on merger issues, including governance and the appointment of Principal has been exceptional. I have felt fully supported throughout the period of merger preparations and have no hesitation in recommending them.

Joyce Black, Chair or Corporation – Regent College

From the care taken with the initial brief to understand our needs, through to the organisation of the very thorough selection process, they operated with the utmost professionalism and ensured throughout all stages of the process that they matched the search to our specific needs, with in depth support to the Board throughout. Their extensive search process gave us a strong shortlist and we could not be more pleased with the final outcome. Thoroughly recommended.

Ronnie Fell
Chair of Corporation – Southport College and KGV Sixth Form College

Rockborn supported us throughout the appointment of our Principal and Senior Team as part of the merger process. They were thoroughly professional throughout but with a very human touch. They took great care to understand our needs, to match their work to that brief and in the process gained the full trust of the Governors.

Dame Pat Bacon
Chair of Corporation – Cheshire College South and West

Nelson and Colne College, has recently received professional and highly effective project management and specialist support from Rockborn Management Consultants, in relation to our successful merger with Accrington and Rossendale College. Rockborn played a key and critical role in our College’s merger, working with the Board, Principal, senior teams and also external partners to ensure merger progressed and also secured Restructuring Facility support.

Peter and Nicola’s proven track record of merger, insight and expertise made them invaluable project managers. They worked to tight and demanding deadlines, and met challenging priorities – supporting the two Colleges throughout merger to work together and ensure the project was on-track. As well as overall project management, they added significant value through the specialist support they offered to the College through their work with the Board, Principal, senior team and staff in areas such as:

  • advising and supporting on new governance arrangements, including working with the Merger Steering Group (MSG) drawn from the Corporations of the two Colleges to ensure oversight, scrutiny and assurance
  • support for the development and preparation of a forward financial plan, able to stand up to internal and external scrutiny and challenge
  • development of the College’s Transaction Unit application for Restructuring Facility funding – including their work cross-College to develop and help deliver an effective merger implementation plan
  • HR expertise and support, with their comprehensive support including aspects such as TUPE requirements and consultation, appointment of the senior team, development of staffing structures and associated systems, contract and process changes necessary etc….
  • working with the College’s senior team to appoint and support external consultants and experts to assist in several key aspects of merger – this included supporting the development of a specialist Estates Strategy and Market Needs Analysis, and working with the College leadership and external partners to progress financial and legal due diligence, and the legal processes and requirements for merger (including consultation)

Peter and Nicola’s experience and advice was invaluable to myself as Chair, and I do not hesitate in recommending them.

Stephen Barnes – Chair of Corporation
Nelson and Colne College

This is a hugely exciting time for all involved in the merger process. We would like to thank Peter Ryder and Nicola Tomlinson from Rockborn who have played a pivotal role in the successful formation of our College Partnership. Their highly professional approach and extensive knowledge of the merger process ensured a seamless and timely delivery.

Amanda Melton – Principal of Nelson and Colne College Partnership