A TROUBLED further education college has reached out to other local institutions for help.
Kevin Farrell, chairman of governors at Stoke-on-Trent College, has requested a meeting next month with representatives from Leek and Newcastle-under-Lyme colleges, Keele and Staffordshire universities, Staffordshire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire TEC on how they can work together in providing post-16 education.
Stoke, which sacked its principal last month, is facing Pounds 8 million debts and 190 redundancies because of a 20 per cent overestimation of student numbers.
Mr Farrell said better relations could help ease difficulties and lead to joint courses.
The other institutions have reacted favourably, if cautiously, to the idea. Mike McConville, principal at Newcastle-under-Lyme College, said: "The strategy of Stoke-on-Trent College seems to have changed from one of direct confrontation to one of partial co-operation and it would be rude of us not to listen to what they have to say."