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.