College under SFA and DfE investigation

A Bedfordshire college is under investigation by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and the Department for Education (DfE) following unspecified “allegations”.

The SFA and the DfE, which acts on behalf of the Education Funding Agency (EFA) , declined to say what the nature of the allegations against the Luton’s Barnfield College were, but said in a joint statement that they were taking them “seriously”.

The college is part of the Barnfield Federation, which incorporates four primary school academies and six secondary school academies.

The joint DfE and SFA statement said: “The Department for Education and the Skills Funding Agency have received allegations relating to Barnfield College and the Barnfield Federation. We are taking these seriously and are investigating.”

It added: “We do not comment on ongoing investigations.”

The college recently completed a major restructure.

A Barnfield spokesperson said: “The newly appointed interim chief executive officers of the Barnfield Federation, Stephen Hall and Helen Mayhew are engaging with the SFA and the EFA to undertake a review of the federation’s operations at Barnfield College and its sponsored academies.”

She added that the college was financially stable and had “significant cash reserves”.

She said: “Our students are at the very centre of all we do at Barnfield and our recent restructure was designed to create even better education delivery in the future, reduce our costs and enable us to offer an excellent service to the Luton community.”