Colleges face action over 'inadequate' finances

Four colleges were issued notices by the ESFA - three in response to their inadequate financial health, letters published today reveal

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Financial health notices to improve have been issued to Epping Forest College and Barnfield College by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

The notices set out additional conditions of funding the colleges are now required to comply with in order to continue to receive funding – and point out they are now in scope for a referral to the FE commissioner.

Epping Forest College has been assessed as having inadequate financial health by the ESFA following a review of the college’s 2016-17 to 2018-19 financial plan. The college will now have to work with the ESFA and the FE commissioner on improving their financial health and present a recovery plan.

Colleges' financial plans

Barnfield College’s revised financial plans submitted in November 2017 had been reviewed and given a rating of "inadequate", said the ESFA, adding the college would now have to “prepare a comprehensive response, in the form of a financial recovery plan that will give the ESFA sufficient confidence that Barnfield College is planning appropriate actions to bring about significant and sustained improvements”.

The ESFA has also issued a financial control notice to improve to Lambeth College, which also means that to continue to attract ESFA funding, additional conditions of funding will have to be met. The notice was issued, said the ESFA, because the college had been rated "inadequate" for its financial management and control by the ESFA.

Meanwhile, a quality notice to improve was issued to Redcar and Cleveland College, following the college’s "inadequate" Ofsted rating. Again, this means the college is in scope to be referred to the FE commissioner. It will now have to prepare a post-inspection action plan. 

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