The leaders of troubled West Notts College have vowed to return it to a stable financial footing after it was placed in administered status today.
West Notts College has been placed in administered status, after a report revealed a “serious corporate failure” at the college.
The Minister of state for apprenticeships Anne Milton MP has written to the chair of Governors at the college to say she is placing it into Administered Status with immediate effect.
This means the college will be subject to further monitoring and review, and will need to inform the ESFA of any major financial transactions or business developments.
Following an intervention inspection by the FE commissioner, the skills minister has written to the college to inform them its financial health needs to be improved.
Today the senior leadership team and governing body say they are united in their ambition to return the college to a stable financial footing and ensure it has a thriving future.
The move follows the resignation of West Nottinghamshire College principal and chief executive Dame Asha Khemka earlier this month.
The college was referred to the Commissioner for Assessment from August 30-31 because its financial health was inadequate.
In her letter the minister states: “It is clear from the Commissioner’s report that there has been a serious corporate failure at the college.
“The college leadership and governors had previously been too slow to react to declining financial performance which resulted in a request for Exceptional Financial Support from Government.
“I am pleased to see that the board has taken steps to ensure that the college has effective leadership to deliver a recovery plan.
“The Commissioner has recommended that the Corporation should take urgent steps to improve the effectiveness of governance to successfully guide the college through its current corporate crisis.
“Given the Significant challenges now facing the college, I am placing the college in Administered Status with immediate effect.
“The Commissioner and his team and the ESFA will engage regularly with the college to monitor progress, and to ensure the right leadership and governance capability is in place to secure recovery.”
In a statement a spokesman for the college said: “We accept the findings of the FE Commissioner, who has highlighted a number of serious issues that the college needs to address as a matter of urgency.
“As such, we are working closely with the Commissioner’s office and the Education and Skills Funding Agency to implement the report’s recommendations and improve our financial situation.
“Significant progress has been made already; not least the appointment of an experienced interim principal and chief executive who officially joined us on 29 October to take the organisation forward, and substantial strengthening of our governing body by recruiting more people from a financial background.
“Furthermore, the report indicates we remain a good college in terms of the quality of our provision. It says students value the opportunities we offer them, that those needing extra support are very well looked after and developed, and that the college is valued by its community and works hard to meet local needs. These are extremely strong foundations to build upon.
“However, we are not complacent. We deeply regret that the college finds itself in this position and are resolutely determined to secure the improvements needed to regain long-term sustainability and come out of administered college status.
“It must be emphasised that administered status is not the same as being placed in administration; instead, it means the college will be subject to further monitoring and review, and will need to inform the ESFA of any major financial transactions or business developments.
“The immediate priority is to complete work on our financial recovery plan, which will see the college continuing to provide a high-quality experience for students, employers and the communities we serve. Maintaining a vibrant and vocationally-relevant curriculum that prepares young people, adults and apprentices for further study or work will be absolutely central to this.
“While the scale of the challenges we face cannot be underestimated, the senior leadership team and governing body are united in their ambition to return the college to a stable financial footing and ensure it has a thriving future.”
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