Last week, Audit Scotland highlighted Edinburgh College as one of three colleges that continue to face financial challenges. But it acknowledged that “overall it has improved its performance in some areas”.
The college began to experience financial difficulties in 2014-15 following the merger of its three predecessor colleges in 2012. Its latest accounts state a total deficit of £7 million in 2015-16 – the largest in the sector.
Audit Scotland said: “The college’s financial position remains challenging and continued progress depends on a number of factors, including a curriculum review and savings from a voluntary severance scheme.”
Edinburgh is one of the only colleges at which staff numbers reduced between 2015 and 2016: from 1,183 to 1,164. The number of senior managers also shrank from seven to six.
Principal Annette Bruton said she welcomed Audit Scotland’s recognition that “the significant progress we’ve made is setting the college in the right direction”.
“The focus of our transformation plan has been on delivering the best possible education and college experience to students, and supporting staff to thrive professionally,” she added.
“We do still have financial challenges, but our transformation plan didn’t set out to solve these overnight. By continuing to hit our credits target, redeveloping our curriculum and making savings, we’re very positive about our plan to achieve sustainability over the next few years.”