The launch of the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group today marks a new era of education in Yorkshire

Tuesday, 1st March 2022 - Selby College and Wakefield College have officially merged to form the ‘Heart of Yorkshire Education Group’ – bringing significant benefits to the region.

The newly formed organisation aims to meet the education and skills needs across Yorkshire from its campuses in Castleford, Selby and Wakefield.

Combining the strengths of both Colleges, the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group will facilitate new and enhanced opportunities for students, apprentices and employer partners, by expanding its course offer, improving learning through the sharing of best practice, meeting local skills demands and creating more opportunities for professional growth of employees.

This will include the expansion of Post-16 provision, Apprenticeships, Higher Education, Distance Learning and Adult qualifications, to meet existing and future skills shortages.

Andrew McConnell OBE (pictured), the Chair of Governors at the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group, said: “Today marks a special day for our Colleges as we officially merge. Right from the start of the merger process, the benefits of becoming a combined, larger, more robust organisation have been clear.

Together, we are strengthened by our expertise, shared vision, geographic location and commitment – effectively positioning our new Group to meet the education and skills needs of our local residents, the wider region and beyond.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the vision of the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group come to life, as we aspire to deliver an expansive, high-standard and responsive curriculum offer for the communities that we serve across Yorkshire,” added Andrew.

With a strong geographical coherence of its Colleges along the M62, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and East Riding, the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group will be able to provide a seamless service to employers in the region and effectively position the Group in priority sectors.

As part of its plans to meet local and regional skills demands, the new Group intends to work with employers on its course offering, planning its curriculum and delivery models to meet their requirements.

Sam Wright, principal and chief executive officer (pictured) of the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group, said: “I’m delighted to announce the official launch of our new Group. Our journey to become one organisation has been progressing over the last few months and today marks a significant milestone for both Selby and Wakefield Colleges. It’s been incredibly special being able to celebrate this achievement with colleagues across our three campuses.

“I would like to thank colleagues for their continued hard work in making the merger a reality, and our stakeholders for their overwhelming support throughout the process. Since day one, our vision for the merger has been to create an organisation that will have a positive impact on all of the communities we serve. As a leading education group, we will have a greater ability and capacity to respond to government policy and regional strategies, as well as a stronger combined voice and influence – enabling us to bring enhanced benefits for our students, staff, partners and other stakeholders,” Sam added.

Underneath the new Group, the names and identities of its existing individual colleges and campuses will continue, with local brands for Castleford College, Selby College and Wakefield College.

As part of the merger process, a key priority has been to minimise disruption to learners, with no changes to students’ or apprentices’ chosen place of study and no requirement for learners to travel between the different Colleges. There will also be no effect on applications to either of the Colleges for the academic year 2022-2023 – students will be able to attend the College they initially apply for.

Colleagues and teams within the Colleges are working closely and effectively together to outline the leadership structure of the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group, as well as develop the identity, strategic vision, mission and values and objectives of the new organisation.