The number of full-time learners at Gainsborough College has dropped from 100 down to 20, but a new partnership with an education provider will bring new courses, teachers and learners to the institution this autumn.
Gainsborough College will be welcoming teachers and learners from Castles Education to its Acland Street campus later this year.
Castles Education runs a network of independently licensed schools, focusing on delivering education for local young people with special educational needs and those who require extra support to succeed.
The one vocational course at Gainsborough – construction – will be moved to Lincoln College.
However, a host of new courses for people with special educational and high needs will be launched at Gainsborough College from September.
In recent years further education learner numbers have fallen at Gainsborough College due to demographic changes and an increasing trend for young people in the town to choose to learn at Lincoln College, or to travel out of the area to other colleges such as Newark and Scunthorpe.
Once Castles Education joins the campus full-time learner numbers are expected to jump from around 20 to more than 100 – creating more local teaching and support staff job opportunities.
The aim of the partnership is for the college to work with Castles’ learners to transition more of them into mainstream further education at Lincoln College Group sites and another colleges regionally, or into employment.
Tom Marsden, Lincoln College Group Director of Strategic Growth, said: “This partnership is a real opportunity for us to maximise the social value we add to the community.
“Castles Education do an amazing job with young people in Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire, who need high levels of support – enabling them to build the skills and confidence they need for successful careers.
“This is perfectly in line with our vision and our ultimate aim is for more of these learners to move into technical training and higher education within Lincoln College Group, or at other colleges.
“This new partnership enables us to fully utilise the Gainsborough College site for local students.
“We are also looking to expand our Gainsborough College adult education offer in the town and we are working with West Lindsey District Council to scope the best way to introduce a range of new training courses.”
Lee Wright, Castles Education Executive Headteacher, said: “Our schools have grown at such an incredible pace and we have made no secret that a lack of suitable buildings and facilities has been the biggest obstacle.
“Moving to Gainsborough will allow us to offer all our curriculum in one location with a significant increase in available pupil places. It also means students we are supporting in the Gainsborough area will no longer need to travel significant distances.”