Julia Belgutay

Colleges ‘at risk of losing control’ as reserves fall

Further education institutions use up £1bn of their financial stockpiles, raising fears of insecurity

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Financial reserves are the ultimate safety net by which colleges protect themselves against cash turmoil. Accumulated over many years, they can be used to cover one-off items of expenditure, such as large building projects. Colleges also use them, however, to safeguard against sudden and unpredictable changes within their environment, such as funding cuts, fluctuations in student numbers or urgent campus repairs.

But a new Tes analysis of college accounts reveals that £1 billion has disappeared from college accounts over the past five years. The total reserves held by colleges across England ...

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