Education chiefs to look at MP’s concern - The Worcester Observer

Education chiefs to look at MP’s concern

Worcester Editorial 27th Nov, 2021   0

MALVERN’s MP Harriett Baldwin has asked for the Department for Education to confirm a covenant can be enforced to preserve teaching at Malvern Hills College to prevent the site being sold off to property developers.

Mrs Baldwin raised local concerns about the closure of the college in a debate in the House of Commons last week.

The Observer reported last week on the MP’s meeting with Skills Minister Alex Burghart MP to discuss the campaign to save the historic teaching site and she briefed him on the covenant put in place by Malvern Hills District Council some years ago which requires that further higher education and training is preserved.

Although the Education and Skills Funding Agency – which gives Warwickshire College Group its annual budget – have determined that the provision for courses for 16-18 year olds in Malvern is sufficient but it did not consider the wider impact on lifelong learning. It also confirmed that the covenant is decided by Malvern Hills District Council.

“The covenant was wisely put in place by Malvern Hills District Council to ensure that the site is preserved for teaching and I have been clear throughout this process that my absolute priority is to ensure that courses continue in Malvern,” she said.

“I am glad the Minister is looking into this matter and I’ve had the chance to raise this issue both in meetings and also in the House of Commons. The message could not be clearer that the community wants to save the college.

“I’m hoping the department will be able to help me to confirm that we won’t lift the covenant and can save Malvern Hills College for generations to come. Leaving a decaying site is the worst outcome for everyone.”

In a statement WCG said: “WCG has been dealing with different community groups and representatives for nine months concerning the sale of the Malvern Hills College site.

“We now feel it is time to clearly set out how the sale of our Malvern Hills College site could take place to the Bransford Trust, which made a new offer in September.

“We have therefore written to the trust setting out our terms, in the hope those involved will carefully consider our latest letter to determine if they feel in a position to purchase and run the college.”


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