City of Wolverhampton College announces new principal after financial turnaround

Comes shortly after the college exited long-running government intervention

Comes shortly after the college exited long-running government intervention

11 Jun 2024, 17:45

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A college that was recently freed from government intervention after 12 years is set to change principal.

City of Wolverhampton College’s deputy principal Louise Fall will take over from Mal Cowgill, who has led the organisation for the last six years, this summer.

The news comes shortly after the college exited the longest-running intervention in the sector. It was taken off the FE Commissioner’s list of colleges with a financial notice to improve in April after a record-breaking 12 years.

Mal Cowgill

Fall, who has worked at the college since 2014, said she is “absolutely delighted” to be appointed principal and promised to continue developing courses and apprenticeships that meet local demand.

Cowgill said he is “confident” about handing the reins to Fall after working alongside her for a number of years.

He originally joined the college as interim principal in 2018, taking over from Claire Boliver, before being handed the role permanently.

The college was under the longest-running financial notice to improve, first imposed in 2012, before the intervention was withdrawn.

Key to this was a long outstanding £10.7 million loan from Barclay’s bank that the college struggled to repay.

The Department for Education has now taken on £6.1 million of the debt, with the remainder to be paid off through the future sale of City of Wolverhampton College’s Paget Road base for housing.

But the Paget Road sale, originally agreed in 2016, did not go through due to delays in the planning and construction of a new £61 million campus home for the college – City Learning Quarter – being built by City of Wolverhampton Council.

Louise Fall

However, the most recent accounts for 2022/23 show the college had an overall deficit of £931,000, down from £2.4 million the previous year.

Mike Hastings, chair of the college, said: “The board of governors is very pleased to have appointed Louise Fall as our new principal and chief executive. Louise has been a key member of our leadership team since 2014 and an integral part of our ongoing college developments. We look forward to continuing to work with her on delivering our vision of outstanding student experience and success for all.”

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