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Watford UTC hit by financial notice to improve

Watford UTC must balance its budget and manage its cash position or face further interventions from the ESFA

The Watford UTC must now produce a balanced budget and manage its cash position or face further interventions from the Education and Skills Funding Agency

Watford UTC must balance its budget and manage its cash position or face further interventions from the ESFA

A university technical college (UTC) has been given a week to provide the funding agency with a revised recovery plan after it was handed a financial notice to improve.

The Watford UTC must now produce a balanced budget and manage its cash position or face further interventions from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

In a letter to the college's chair of governors, Mike Pettifer, director of the ESFA’s academies and maintained schools group, writes: “I am concerned about the failures in governance and financial management at the trust following several requests for financial support and the failure to produce a balanced budget.”

UTC pupil numbers 'must grow'

The trust is now required to undertake an integrated curriculum financial review to identify financial savings and produce a revised recovery plan for submission to the ESFA. The UTC must also balance its budget and grow pupil numbers by 2019-20 and conduct a skills audit of governors and staff with a financial responsibility.

The UTC was rated "good" in all areas by Ofsted inspectors at an inspection last year and had 169 pupils on its roll, with around half on 16-19 study programmes.

The Watford UTC was established in 2013 and is part of Meller Educational Trust, which was set up by former non-executive director at the Department for Education David Meller. Mr Meller resigned from the DfE in January after revelations about the men-only dinner that the Presidents Club – where he is a trustee – organised.

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