Three colleges in south east London are merging this summer in the wake of an inadequate rating at one.

Bromley College is spearheading the move with Bexley College and its federation partner, Greenwich Community College (GCC), to create a further education outfit with a combined turnover of £48m.

The new South East London Colleges Group (SELCOG) will come into effect from August 1 although each college will retain its name and “local identity”.

Following the approval of the merger by Bexley College’s Corporation in March, a month-long consultation process took place before Bromley College officially disclosed the outcome on May 18.

In the same announcement, Bexley College’s principal, Danny Ridgeway, confirmed his retirement from the college after six years as head, with Mrs Sam Parrett, the principal and CEO of Bromley College and Greenwich Community College set to lead the new SELCOG group.

Mr Ridgeway said: “After 32 years of working in the FE sector, now is the time for me to retire.

“I shall miss the students, my colleagues and partners but I know that I am leaving the college in safe hands.”

Mrs Sam Parrett added: “Our three-way merger with Bexley and Greenwich Colleges will strengthen vocational education and apprenticeship provision across south east London, securing a sustainable future across the board.

“I am confident that future of vocational education in south east London is very bright and would like to thank everyone involved for getting us to this point.

“There is however much work to be done leading up to August 1 and we are grateful for the continuing support of the community and from our many stakeholders.”

The road to SELCOG has been trickier for the Greenwich college after Ofsted rated GCC “inadequate” on February 23.

The Bromley Group’s takeover of GCC officially began on January 1 and although improvements were being made, the standard of teaching, pupil performance in maths and English, employment prospects for those leaving college, the slow pace on advanced courses and low teacher expectations at GCC were criticised.

Over 97 per cent of staff across all three colleges have been matched or slotted into the new structure and senior teams are working closely with unions on these procedures, Bromley College has stated.