Colleges that were deemed to have been in poor financial health are now out of formal intervention by the further education commissioner.
Bracknell and Wokingham College, and Prospects College of Advanced Technology (Procat), were placed in intervention in June 2017 and January 2018 respectively.
Berkshire-based Bracknell and Wokingham College was said to have been in “inadequate financial health” for three of the six years leading up to 2017, according to a report by the FE commissioner’s team. The report acknowledged that the college's leadership was “doing a good job” on teaching and learning quality, but owing to the institution’s small size, it could not benefit from the “economies of scale” enjoyed by larger bodies.
At Procat in Essex, which was the first new college to be incorporated in 20 years when it was established in 2014, the FE commissioner’s team found that despite the quality and experience of governors, it was “clear from the college’s financial position that there have been shortcomings in governance”.
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The role of the FE commissioner and his team is to make recommendations for actions that college governing bodies should take to improve.
If one of the triggers for intervention is met, then the commissioner’s office will prepare a report and make recommendations to college leaders and the board.
The FE commissioner will remain engaged in a case until there is evidence that the implementation of the action plan has secured improvement – for example, if it no longer falls short on a measure that triggered intervention.