UHI Rural and Islands College merger proposal: child rights and wellbeing impact assessment

Child rights and wellbeing impact assessment (CRWIA) carried out for the proposal to merge Lews Castle College with North Highland College as part of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI).

CRWIA Stage 1 – Screening

Brief Summary

The governing bodies of North Highland College (NHC), Lews Castle College (LCC) (also known as UHI Outer Hebrides) and West Highland College (WHC) have proposed to merge the three colleges to form one single, incorporated college. This is to be achieved by the closure of LCC and WHC, with all their property, rights, liabilities and obligations transferred to NHC.

LCC is an incorporated college under the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 1992 (“the 1992 Act”) and as such requires a statutory instrument, made by the Scottish Ministers, in order to give effect to its closure and the consequential transfer of property, rights, liabilities and obligations. This includes the transfer of the employees of LCC to NHC, along with the terms of their existing contracts of employment.

As WHC is not incorporated under the 1992 Act that college will be wound up through non-statutory means which does not require any Ministerial involvement.

The merging colleges’ aims from the merger are to become a financially sustainable organisation and to respond effectively to opportunities of scale. To grow the curriculum, research and knowledge exchange. To enhance the student experience and to create resource to address changing priorities, opportunities and economic difficulties.

Start date of relevant proposal: 1/8/23

Start date of CRWIA process: 28/4/23

The closure of Lews Castle College and its merger with North Highland College will not affect children under the age of 18. There were 610 (ay 2019-20) enrolments for children under 18 studying at Lews Castle College, but the merging parties have indicated that there are no current plans to close any physical centres nor to withdraw any courses, nor to make face to face courses virtual.

Children in a remote and rural setting will not be affected; because there are currently no plans to change the provision of courses offered nor the locations in which the courses are run.


Is a Stage 2 Children’s Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment required?

CRWIA not required

Explanation why CRWIA is not required:

There is no requirement for a CRWIA because the closure and merger of Lews Castle College will result in no loss of choice or accessibility for children. The merging colleges have stated that they have no current plans to close any physical locations; nor withdraw or relocate any courses. The merger business case indicates that the merger has the potential to increase the reach of the curriculum and provide more opportunities for students in remote areas.

Sign & Date

Policy Lead Signature & Date of Sign Off: 12/5/23

Deputy Director Signature & Date of Sign Off: 23/5/23

Date SGLD contacted: 12/5/23


Email: Mary.Maxwell@gov.scot

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