Five colleges have been issued with notices to improve by the Education and Skills Funding Agency today.
Three – Kensington and Chelsea College, East Sussex College Group and Gateshead College – have been issued with financial health notices to improve. Richmond upon Thames College received a letter from the ESFA imposing additional conditions of funding that it needs to meet in order for the ESFA to continue to provide funding, while Highbury College was told it had been escalated to formal intervention by the FE commissioner.
College notices to improve
In the letter to Kensington and Chelsea College, the ESFA said that the college had been assessed as having inadequate financial health following a review of the college’s 2017 to 2018 audited financial statements, finance record and subsequently submitted information.
Background: Three colleges warned over finances
The college announced today it will merge with Morley College in February, and stressed the FE commissioner’s team undertook a final monitoring visit recently, highlighting the notable and tangible improvement to the atmosphere and culture across the college, and that college operations are "well led".
Richmond upon Thames and East Sussex College Group were also assessed to have inadequate financial health by the ESFA.
In the letter to Highbury College, the ESFA said that the FE commissioner's team recognised that the college had made good progress in delivering many of the team's recommendations, but that there remained "significant concern" around the college’s leadership and governance – and this meant it had to be escalated to formal intervention.
Gateshead College has been assessed as "experiencing serious cash-flow pressures", its letter said.
A spokesperson for ESCG said: "ESCG has implemented additional financial controls and introduced a new business planning process for this year to ensure we improve our financial health and secure at least 'requires Improvement' for our financial health score with the ESFA in 2019-20 and 2020-21."
Meanwhile, the ESFA closed three financial notices to improve today: Havering College of Further and Higher Education, Coulsdon Sixth Form College and Easton and Otley College.