Emma-Kate Fletcher

Vice Principal – People and Culture, Nottingham College

Start date: January 2024

Previous Job: Head of People, Capital Letters

Interesting fact: While working in France as a student in a legal firm, I was shot at by the owner of a hotel we were there to repossess, (he missed). He had also sunk his boat by putting rocks through the hull to stop us taking it!

Paul Kelly

Chair, Prisoners’ Education Trust

Start date: February 2024

Previous Job: Project Lead, Engaging People on Probation, The Wise Group

Interesting fact: While working for Compass Group, Paul was successful in persuading the then Labour government to change the law to allow retail outlets at motorway service areas, with the first M&S Simply Foods opening at Toddington Services on the M1.

William Pickford, principal, Redbridge Institute of Adult Education

William Pickford has had an “eclectic” 25-year career in FE which has seen him opening a college on a faraway tropical island, overseeing another as it was evicted due to local authority financial mismanagement, and now, leading London’s only ‘outstanding’ council-run adult education service. 

Since 2021, he has been the principal of Redbridge Institute of Adult Education. He was described 20 years ago by a fellow educator as a “maverick” and admits “it is a moniker I’ve tried to live up to ever since.”

Pickford’s time at Redbridge has been one of rapid change for the adult education sector, and some of that has been “painful”. Half of its curriculum has changed since Covid to reflect shifting national funding priorities.

The institute traces its history back to 1903 when East London’s first adult education courses included French, shorthand, dressmaking, cookery, bookkeeping and drawing. 

Redbridge Institute of Adult Education

But the purpose of publicly funded adult education drastically altered with the 2021 skills white paper and ensuing local skills improvement plans, which align adult education budget funding to skills gaps. 

He sees adult education as now split between “two completely different cohorts” – one for “basic skills” and the other, which has shrunk considerably, for “more traditional” informal learning. “But adult education should be for everyone.”

The sector’s marketing materials haven’t caught up with the pace of change. Pickford says that “every picture you see of adult learning” tends to be of “the photogenic bits – the creative arts courses, the pottery being made”. But this “doesn’t represent the reality”.

“We need to be careful. The reality [of adult education] is ESOL, maths, and digital skills, but we still love putting pictures of art shows on our publicity.”

And while Redbridge is “still funded as though it were a leafy London suburb”, the borough now hosts the highest number of asylum seekers and refugees in London. As a result, 62 per cent of its adult skills provision is now ESOL, and there is a waiting list of 350 people waiting to access it. 

Many of the institute’s learners are newly arrived migrants placed in Redbridge by the Home Office with only two weeks’ notice, and they are often moved on “at a moment’s notice” too. It makes planning tricky. 

Pickford shows me around the former pilates, yoga and dance studios that have been transformed into learning and employability hubs and ESOL classrooms, and the hair and nail studio that’s now a skills and enterprise hub. It has been a “painful journey”. 

The pilates classmates in particular would not surrender without a fight. “Oh crumbs, they were very vocal – writing to everyone they could, the Mayor of London, the local councillors, Ofsted, and GLA funders.

“People just don’t understand that that’s no longer what our funders tell us our priorities are. They say, ‘we’ve been doing those sessions for years and years. Why can’t we continue?’”

William Pickford as a child

The city boy

Although his childhood home on a farm (“mostly sheep”) on the outskirts of a “tiny village” in Somerset might sound idyllic, he “hated it” as he “had to be ferried everywhere, and there wasn’t much to do”. 

Pickford had been a “lifelong” Manchester United fan since his Mancunian grandfather took him to see them play in the city as a boy. It was part of the reason why he chose Manchester University to study. He was the first in his family to go to university but ignored their advice to study “a proper subject” like law or business, instead opting for hotel and catering management.

He trained with Stakis Hotels in the Scottish Cairngorms, but “hated it for the same reasons” he left Somerset: it was “miles away from anywhere”. He “couldn’t wait to get out”, and moved to the bright lights of London where he turned his attention to hotel events management.

He applied for a PGCE course “on a whim” because he “quite fancied that teaching lark”. His intention was to teach hospitality, but he never got the chance as his first job in 1998 was at Orpington College (now part of LSEC), which lacked a hospitality department. Instead, he taught business, accounting and economics among other things, because “you don’t say no to anything”.

As a gay man, Pickford said the FE sector “provided me with the first safe space where I felt comfortable enough talking about who I really was. 25 years ago, that was a really big thing.”

Pickford then spent seven years promoting digital learning for two big government organisations – as head of innovation at Jisc, and head of provider capacity for Becta, based at the University of London.

It was an “exciting” time for the sector in the early 2000’s with “lots of money sloshing around” for digital projects, with the dawn of e-learning and smart boards. Pickford recalls Becta having a budget of £21 million one year to give away to colleges.

William Pickford in his younger years

Digital collaboration

Some “really exciting ideas” were born from the mentality of “not being afraid of failing, because there were no consequences”. The funding was simply conditional on recipients sharing their successes and failures with others in the sector.

One notable success was the open-source software Moodle, one of the first virtual learning environments which became a “pooled shared service” for universities and colleges. Becta was axed in David Cameron’s bonfire of the quangos, but Moodle outlasted it.

He believes there is not enough of that type of sector-wide collaboration now, because “you need that brokerage”.

These days East London providers work together when it comes to ESOL, with Redbridge and New City College referring potential students to each other because “there’s so much work to go around”. And the GLA is planning a London-wide ESOL strategy.

But Pickford believes there is scope for much greater collaboration.

“Our residents don’t know where to start [to improve their careers], and we don’t make it any easier for them. We’re all selling the same thing in slightly different ways, and actually that’s no good for them. They need that very clear roadmap, otherwise how do they navigate their way through?”

William Pickford

Turning around colleges

Pickford spent the next few years in interim roles. His first involved turning around what was then the only specialist women’s residential college in the country, Hillcroft (now part of Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College), after an inadequate Ofsted in 2013.

The college used to be for “tweedy middle aged white women”. But the area’s demographics had shifted, and the college “hadn’t moved fast enough for the times”. Pickford was told to make the curriculum more relevant to local needs.

He also interim-ed for Stanmore College and Westminster Kingsway College. 

These short-term roles did not give him a complete “sense of achievement” because “you never get to see the outcomes” of the measures put in place.

William Pickford

Bali bureaucracy

Pickford’s next career move took him to Bali, where he and his long-term partner, who is Indonesian, opened a private training college to prepare locals for joining Australian universities. 

The experience gave him an appreciation for the English public sector.

Pickford found they were “at the whim of our investors deciding to change course” and “everything was so bureaucratic”. Each year the college had to be accredited by both the Ministry of Manpower and the Ministry of Education, with “the strangest Ofsted type regime you could imagine”.

Despite Bali being a “very pleasant place to live”, Pickford would spend every other weekend “jetting off to New Zealand, Singapore and Bangkok … just to experience crowds again”.

He returned after four years because he “missed England, and the public sector”. 

William Pickford

Essex blues

But Pickford’s next role in 2018, as vice principal at Thurrock Adult Community College, did not exactly exemplify public sector excellence. 

Thurrock Council had embarked on an infamous spending spree in the solar power market which led to its bankruptcy four years later. Seeking extra cash, the council made a “shock” announcement they were demolishing the college’s building to sell the land. 

The college staff and learners were given just two months’ notice to leave the site in Greys, where the college had been based for the previous 30 to 40 years.

“The writing was on the wall” at that point for the council, which Pickford said “didn’t care” where the learners went. Pickford put moving plans in motion, then moved on to Redbridge.

Redbridge Institute in numbers

‘Outstanding’ pressure

Redbridge’s last [outstanding] inspection took place in 2018 under the old common inspection framework, before Pickford arrived there in 2021, and he is now faced with a “totally different set of goalposts”.

However, life is easier in some ways for Pickford than his FE college counterparts. 

Pickford’s adult learners “genuinely want to be here”, they are “committed to finishing their courses”, and there are “very few” behaviour issues. The pass rate last year for English and maths GCSEs was 100 per cent.

When Pickford first arrived, he announced “probably prematurely” he would create an ESOL hub within a 30-minute walk from every home in the borough. It took two years to map where the gaps in provision were. 

But his “aspiration” is to provide “local services for local people”.

If the institute has “one weakness”, it is personal development. The ability to roll out enrichment programmes is limited by rules that restrict funding to each learning aim. For example, Redbridge receives £811 for a student doing a year-long GCSE course. “Unless they do other fundable learning aims, I have to work five times as hard as FE colleges to get the same amount of funding they do”.

Despite local authority funding constraints, Pickford would rather see the service kept in council hands because “big FE colleges have not got that neighbourhood knowledge”. 

“From street to street, we know what residents’ skills needs are because we empty their bins, they come to us for housing advice.”

And AI data advances mean adult learning services like his are getting “smarter at identifying the people that need the most help”.

“It’s always those people furthest away from education and employment that you need to put the bulk of your resources in engaging. It might take many attempts to get them onto an adult skills funded course – they’re disengaged for a reason. But they’re our bread and butter.”

Redbridge Institute

Ode to Redbridge

It takes a lot for Pickford to show emotion: the last time he cried was during the 1991-2 football season, when it looked as though he would “never see United win the league”. But he does show a depth of emotion when discussing his love of FE. 

“What I do now is where I feel the closest connection to my passion for social justice. The power of adult education to transform the lives of those who need it most is what inspires me every day.”

Four months ago, at Redbridge’s 120th anniversary gala dinner celebrations, Pickford’s contribution, “apart from some mad Bhangra dancing”, was a poem:

Pickford’s Ode to Redbridge Institute

Top skills civil servant Kirsty Evans to leave DfE

One of the government’s top skills civil servants is set to leave after more than 20 years in the Department for Education.

Kirsty Evans will leave her current role as the DfE’s director of post-16 regions and FE provider oversight in March to join the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) as an executive principal.

It marks the latest in a string of well-known and high-ranking skills civil servants to leave the DfE and Education and Skills Funding Agency in recent years. Other high-profile departures include Keith Smith, Peter Mucklow and Paul Kett.

Evans is a popular face in the FE sector having held various senior roles in the civil service since the days of the Learning and Skills Council in the 2000s.

She was also deputy director of funding policy implementation in the then-Skills Funding Agency, before holding posts as director of apprenticeships, director of further education, and director of funding and programmes in its successor the ESFA.

She is currently responsible for effective oversight of the FE sector and FE providers in the DfE, as well as the delivery of key policy programmes such as local skills improvement plans.

The DfE confirmed Evans is leaving the department to take up a new role at the CITB, but wouldn’t say what the plans were for replacing her.

CITB is the industry training board for the construction sector in England, Scotland, and Wales. It is an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the DfE.

The organisation is currently led by chief executive Tim Balcon and chaired by former ESFA chief executive Peter Lauener.

Balcon said: “We are delighted that, as of 25 March 2024, Kirsty Evans will be joining the CITB executive team as executive principal, National Construction College.

“With her exceptional past experience at the Department for Education, as well as the ESFA and Skills Funding Agency, Kirsty will bring a wealth of expertise spanning a wide range of education policy and operational programmes, including apprenticeships.”

DfE promises to ‘streamline’ high-end principal salary sign-offs

Ministers have vowed to streamline the arduous process of approving high-end principal salaries, as colleges fume over “unacceptable” lengthy delays impacting the recruitment of leaders.

Bosses have slammed the bureaucracy involved in applying for government permission to hire senior staff with a pay package of £150,000 or more through a process which is causing waiting times of up to five months, FE Week has learned.

Following reclassification to the public sector in late 2022, colleges are required to get permission from the Department for Education and then the chief secretary to the Treasury for pay of £150,000 and above. 

The threshold comprises of base salary, fees, pension in excess of normal levels and benefits in kind. Colleges also now need to get permission to award bonuses of more than £17,500.

Colleges face a penalty of up to five times the remuneration package if they breach strict new rules, which includes posting a job advertisement with an unapproved salary, appointing a candidate without pay approval, and announcing an appointment without a government-approved pay package.

The DfE has admitted that the assessment is taking longer than it planned and told FE Week it will attempt to “streamline” the process.

“We are mindful of the issues that this may cause for some providers and remain actively engaged with those awaiting decisions,” a DfE spokesperson said. “We are also working to streamline the assessment process and plan to update guidance on this in due course.”

But for multiple colleges that have already had principal vacancies since reclassification, governing boards have waded through confusing guidance and lengthy periods of radio silence from the government, all whilst trying to appoint candidates.

David Hughes, chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “The length of time it is taking is unacceptable and is leading to problems in recruitment for the small number of colleges seeking permission.

“We are chasing the DfE on those in the pipeline. It is a new process, meaning that everyone is learning about how it works, with each case going to the education secretary before it goes onto the Treasury for the chief secretary to make the final decision.”

Hughes told his members that education secretary Gillian Keegan also “often asks” colleges “for more information before making a decision”, which delays the process even further.

‘Stalemate’ with government

Last July, DfE updated its guidance on senior pay, which states that applications for £150,000 approval will take a minimum of two months to assess.

The guidance says colleges should file a pro forma application, asking for salary approval as soon as they are aware of an upcoming senior vacancy that meets the £150,000 threshold or the £17,500 bonus payment.

Exceptions that don’t need Treasury approval include colleges that can prove a “significant material burden” if they don’t rapidly hire multiple senior employees, or colleges that wish to propose the same remuneration package for future appointments “for a specific timeframe”.

The government has been accused of making up the guidance “as they go” by some sources, as it encourages colleges to get Treasury approval first before advertising for the job to “avoid delays and potential embarrassment when dealing with potential candidates”.

But officials also tell colleges they can get around the rules by advertising a vacancy without specifying the salary.

Sources say the latter method doesn’t guarantee a speedier process because the government will want to know the justification for offering a salary package to a certain candidate.

They also told FE Week the delays cause potential candidates to end up in a “stalemate” as they cannot give notice to their current employer without agreeing on the terms with their new employer, including on salary, all the while the college is waiting for the green light from the government.

Seek permission ASAP

The pro forma application asks colleges to fill out information about the proposed recruitment timetable, a job description, college workforce size and budget, salary specification and any negotiating flexibility on salary.

There is also ample space in the document to fill in a four-part justification for the proposed salary package and a box to fill in the views of the departmental minister. 

Some colleges encountered problems immediately when submitting the form. The form needs a signature from the chair of governors, which is not stated in the guidance.

These rules could well affect at least one-third of college principals, who are earning at least £150,000, according to 2022 college accounts data.

John Evans, principal of Cornwall College, said he has given governors extra notice to step down to mitigate the delays in appointing his successor and allow for a handover.

“[The handover] is not going to be possible I don’t think, because it could take 18 weeks. That’s four and a half months before we can even agree a salary,” he told FE Week.

“Having just entered the process, it does seem bureaucratic. We have been warned it could be it could be long-winded. I think it’s important to get that out there and because all this has an impact on the quality of education for our students.”

Hughes has “strongly advised” colleges to seek permission as soon as possible to allow for the “extremely” slow process.

He added that the AoC is pressing for a set of benchmarks within which colleges are “safe to proceed” because the £150,000 cap is “simply too low for medium and large colleges and it will result in about half of colleges clogging up the education secretary’s red box”.

College U-turns on paid president gig after backlash

Weston College has U-turned on introducing a paid role of “president” that was promised to England’s highest-paid principal, Sir Paul Phillips, after he retired.

The college has also parted ways with Phillips’ son, Joe, just months after his recent controversial promotion from finance director to chief operating officer.

Joe Phillips joins two deputy principals who have left the college’s senior leadership team since interim principal Jacqui Ford took the helm in September.

The revelations come as Weston College was downgraded by Ofsted from an ‘outstanding’ rating awarded 10 years ago to ‘good’ this week. Its near-18-month hunt for a new permanent principal is also still ongoing.

Last summer, the college was embroiled in a governance and nepotism row after FE Week revealed its plans for a tailor-made president position for then-principal Sir Paul Phillips (pictured), timed for when he was due to step down at the end of the academic year. The position was said to be “absolutely key” to the college’s governance initiatives as well as “profile bids”.

The recruitment process for Phillips’ successor was thrown into chaos as candidates questioned the remunerated position and the recent promotion of Joe Phillips was put under the spotlight. A union representative said at the time Weston College looked like it was “being run as Sir Paul’s personal fiefdom”.

FE Week can now reveal governors have dropped plans for a president of Weston College and has no plans to fill the role. 

The college refused to say why the position was ditched.

Chair of governors Andrew Leighton-Price said: “Sir Paul Phillips retired from his role at Weston College as of August 31, 2023. He has not taken on any other positions within the college group, paid or otherwise. We wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement.”

No longer a family affair

Meanwhile, Sir Paul’s son Joe Phillips has stepped down after working at the college for 13 years. He joined the college in 2010 and was promoted last year from vice-principal for finance and business planning to deputy principal and chief operating officer, while his father was still in post.

The college doubled down at the time that there was no conflict of interest and his father had “no influence” on the promotion.

As Ford arrived as acting principal, Joe Phillips became the de-facto second-in-command.

Ofsted’s latest report on Weston noted how there have been “several recent changes at senior leadership level”. The college confirmed Joe Phillips was one of those changes.

Leighton-Price said: “Three of our senior leaders, including two deputy principals and the chief operating officer, have embarked on exciting new journeys outside the college.

“While we deeply appreciate their past contributions, we’re confident in our strong and highly experienced leadership team’s ability to continue to drive the college forward.”

New principal awaiting approval

Weston’s principal role was due to be filled by then-deputy principal of Cornwall College Kate Wills, but her job offer was withdrawn last June for undisclosed reasons. She is now back at Cornwall College in a different deputy principal role.

At Weston College, interim principal Jacqui Ford is set to steer the ship until summer, FE Week understands.

The search for a permanent principal is still ongoing, according to the college.

Sources told FE Week that the college has found a permanent principal but is awaiting approval from the Department for Education, which could be held up following the reclassification requirement for government approval on salaries above £150,000 (see page 5).

Sir Paul Phillips was England’s highest paid principal with a basic salary in 2022 of £258,000, plus pension contributions, consultancy work and benefits in kind taking his total pay package to £362,000.

Leighton-Price said: “Collaborating closely with the DfE and FE Commissioner, the college governors are actively engaged in the process of appointing a new principal and chief executive.”

‘Good’ for governance

Ofsted inspectors noted during their December 2023 inspection that the governance of the quality of education at Weston College is “mostly effective”.

The report published this week said the governors appropriately challenge leaders on education but “do not always challenge leaders enough on the timeliness and impact of the remedial actions taken,” leading to slow improvements on the weakest programmes.

However, inspectors also praised governors and leaders for listening and taking timely actions on the feedback from staff at all levels in the college.

“For example, leaders have recently appointed well-being champions to help staff manage their workload. As a result, staff feel valued and well supported by leaders and managers.”

Leighton-Price said: “Weston College is immensely proud of its ‘good’ Ofsted rating, achieved across all eight areas, alongside a ‘strong’ outcome for meeting regional skills needs.”

Holex on the hunt for first CEO

Adult education body Holex is recruiting for its first chief executive as it unveils plans to expand its services amid “increased demand” for its expertise. 

The membership organisation is currently led by policy director, Sue Pember, who will stay in post under the new CEO. 

Pember told FE Week having a CEO will give her more time for advocacy and lobbying on behalf of Holex’s members. 

The £70,000 to £90,000 chief will report to the board, which is chaired by WM College (formerly known as The Working Men’s College), principal Dipa Ganguli. 

The new role reflects the country’s “reduced and changed” adult education infrastructure and increased demand for Holex’s advice and guidance. 

Last year Holex successfully forced a government U-turn on plans to end funding for adult education courses that are not directly linked to employment outcomes.

Alongside the Association of Colleges and the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, Holex is a founding member of the Education and Training Foundation.

As well as formal policy consultations, Holex organises network events and research on key topics for the adult and community learning sector such as Prevent, Multiply and Ofsted.

Over 140 adult and community education organisations in England are currently members of Holex, including local authorities, adult education institutes and further education colleges. 

The organisation, now in its 31st year, is looking for a “dynamic and experienced” leader to “build the business” and “advocate for positive change,” according to the job description. 

It hopes to appoint this August, potentially in time for a general election. 

Holex has called for a dedicated minister for adult education and lifelong learning in its submission to next month’s spring Budget, alongside asks for a ten-year spending plan for community education and tax breaks for employers that invest in adults without level 2 qualifications.

Applications close on March 1, 2024.

Babington announces third CEO in less than a year

One of England’s largest apprenticeship providers has unveiled a new chief executive – its third in less than a year.

Babington Business College announced on Thursday that Mark Basham, a “turnaround specialist” who was appointed in June 2023, has resigned with immediate effect for “personal reasons”.

Basham was the permanent successor to David Marsh who suddenly left the company in May 2023 after almost five years at the helm, also for “personal reasons”.

Jen Bramley (pictured), who has been the firm’s chief operating officer for the past four years, will now take over chief executive.

Marsh’s departure came months after Babington was sold by RJD Partners in December 2022 to Unigestion, a Switzerland-based private equity firm.

Babington’s latest accounts for the year ending July 2022 show £26.3 million turnover, similar to the previous year, but profit of £743,000 which dived from almost £3.5 million in 2021.

A month after Basham joined Babington, the company announced that around 120 jobs were at risk in a “strategic realignment”. It then scrapped its adult education budget portfolio, including its digital skills bootcamps and sector work academy programme (SWAP) courses, as well as its apprenticeships training offer in the property, financial services and retail sectors.

The organisation has now switched focus to apprenticeships, professional qualifications and commercial courses areas of accountancy, HR, leadership, data, and business. 

Ofsted visited Babington in December and published a ‘good’ judgment in January 2024. The company had 4,300 apprentices placed with 800 employers at the time of the visit.

Bramley has worked in the education and training sector for 15 years. She joined Babington in 2018 as executive director of customer engagement and was promoted to COO in 2020.

She said: “I am proud to be taking on broader leadership of this exceptional business as we continue to deliver on our purpose of developing better futures for individuals, organisations, and society as a whole.

“In recent months we have made bold choices to do what is right for the business, and for all our valued customers, learners, and colleagues. We have a clear strategy and an unwavering commitment to delivering high-quality, effective learning programmes that support meaningful organisational and personal outcomes.”

Babington chair Mike Kinski said: “We are grateful to Mark for guiding our strategic initiatives and wish him and his family well. Jen has the confidence of her team and our clients to build on Babington’s strengths and I look forward to supporting her and the wider executive team as they work to achieve the Company’s future goals.” 

Basham added: “As a new leadership team we have made great progress implementing the agreed strategic realignment over the past six months, culminating in the terrific report from Ofsted. As such, given my personal circumstances, it is a good time for me to step back and leave the Company in Jen’s very capable hands. I am looking forward to committing more time to other portfolio interests. I wish the whole Babington team every success for the future.” 

Ofsted to examine how SEND pupils are prepared for adulthood

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission will examine how young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are being prepared for adulthood in forthcoming thematic visits.

The watchdogs have published guidance ahead of visits to a “small number of areas” to look at “a particular aspect of the SEND system in-depth” between spring and summer 2024.

They will look at all phases of a child with SEND’s transition to adulthood, from early years settings through to post-16 education, to get a detailed overview of how preparation for adulthood (PFA) arrangements are working.

The visits “will not result in judgments about local areas”, but the findings will be published in a report this autumn.

This will list the areas visited and flag examples of good practice and identify any systemic concerns.

Where good practice is identified, this will be “shared with the Department for Education and the Department for Health and Social Care to support their development of policy for the SEND and alternative provision improvement plan”.

Current system ‘not meeting needs’

Lee Owston, Ofsted’s national director for education said: “The current SEND system is not meeting the needs of too many children and their families.

“I hope these visits provide valuable insight into how we can improve the experiences of children with SEND as the government develops its SEND and alternative provision improvement plan.”

Lee Owston

Ofsted and the CQC will look at the extent to which schools and early years settings “develop the knowledge, skills, and independence of children and young people with SEND”.

The reviews will also investigate the support schools offer to help pupils to prepare for post-16 transitions, through routes such as further education and work with training.

The role of post-16 providers in readying youngsters for next steps like higher education, training, supported internships or employment will also come under the microscope.

The watchdogs will focus on “four key pathways” for PFA: employment, independent living, community inclusion and health.

They will look into…

  • How youngsters with SEND are supported to achieve their full potential
  • How they are empowered to make decisions for themselves and live as independently as possible
  • How they are supported to participate in society and live “as healthily as possible” as adults
  • The “enablers and barriers to effectively preparing young people with SEND for adulthood”

The team will usually consist of three inspectors: one from education, another from social care and a CQC inspector.

Each visit will typically consist of up to four days of off-site activity and up to four days on-site investigation, and inspectors will notify local leaders of the visits 10 working days in advance.

RAAC: 10 colleges will get removal grants

The government has announced that 10 of the 12 colleges with RAAC will receive grants to remove the dangerous concrete.

Data published by the Department for Education today shows 234 schools and colleges have now been confirmed as having reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete, an increase of three since the last update in December.

The DfE said today this was the “final list”, making up around 1 per cent of 22,000 schools and colleges in England.

The new list includes information about the “route of removal”, and shows 119 schools will be rebuilt either fully or partially. Another 110 education settings will receive grants while the rest have a “different” route to removal.

The “other” route is used where, for example, the education setting “doesn’t require the department to provide any additional support or funding or the case has only recently been confirmed and we are assessing the best solution for removal”.

Of the 234 affected settings, 11 are FE colleges and one is a specialist post-16 institution.

Two colleges were added to today’s updated list – Barking and Dagenham College which will receive a grant, and The College of Richard Collyer in Horsham which does not require a grant for removal at this stage.

The other college listed as not receiving a grant for RAAC removal is Camborne College, part of Cornwall College Group.

The nine other colleges with RAAC which will receive a grant are:

  • Abingdon and Witney College
  • Barnet and Southgate College
  • The Oldham College
  • Grantham College
  • Farnborough College of Technology
  • Marple Sixth Form College – part of The Trafford College Group
  • Petroc
  • Peterborough College – part of Inspire Education Group
  • Royal College Manchester (Seashell Trust)

Education secretary Gillian Keegan said: “Nothing is more important to me than the safety of every child and member of staff.

“We will continue to work closely with schools and colleges as we take the next step to permanently remove RAAC from affected buildings.”

She also thanked schools, colleges and local authorities “who have worked tirelessly with the department to ensure all children remain in face-to-face education”.

RAAC removal plans – the full list

School nameCouncilGrant or rebuild
Barking and Dagenham CollegeBarking and DagenhamGrant
Bishop Douglass School FinchleyBarnetGrant
Cleeve Park SchoolBexleyGrant
Hodge Hill CollegeBirminghamGrant
St John Fisher Catholic Primary SchoolBirminghamGrant
Baskerville SchoolBirminghamSchool Rebuilding Programme
Maryvale Catholic Primary SchoolBirminghamGrant
Ark Boulton AcademyBirminghamSchool Rebuilding Programme
Aston Manor AcademyBirminghamSchool Rebuilding Programme
Prince Albert Junior and Infant SchoolBirminghamGrant
St Mary and St John Junior and Infant SchoolBirminghamSchool Rebuilding Programme
Bispham Endowed Church of England Primary SchoolBlackpoolSchool Rebuilding Programme
Thornleigh Salesian CollegeBoltonSchool Rebuilding Programme
St Bernard’s RC Primary School, BoltonBoltonSchool Rebuilding Programme
St Stephen and All Martyrs’ CofE School, Lever BridgeBoltonGrant
Canon Slade SchoolBoltonSchool Rebuilding Programme
St Andrew’s CofE Primary School, Over HultonBoltonSchool Rebuilding Programme
St William of York Catholic Primary SchoolBoltonGrant
Christ Church Church of England AcademyBradfordGrant
Crossflatts Primary SchoolBradfordGrant
Baildon Church of England Primary SchoolBradfordGrant
Eldwick Primary SchoolBradfordGrant
The Holy Family Catholic School, a Voluntary AcademyBradfordSchool Rebuilding Programme
Kingsbury High SchoolBrentSchool Rebuilding Programme
St Gregory’s Catholic Science CollegeBrentSchool Rebuilding Programme
Sir William Borlase’s Grammar SchoolBuckinghamshireGrant
St Joseph’s Catholic Primary SchoolBuckinghamshireSchool Rebuilding Programme
St Michael’s Catholic SchoolBuckinghamshireSchool Rebuilding Programme
Waddesdon Church of England SchoolBuckinghamshireGrant
The Macclesfield AcademyCheshire EastGrant
Sandbach SchoolCheshire EastSchool Rebuilding Programme
Ellesmere Port Catholic High School, a Voluntary AcademyCheshire West and ChesterSchool Rebuilding Programme
Camborne College (part of Cornwall College)CornwallOther
Ferryhill SchoolCounty DurhamSchool Rebuilding Programme
St Bede’s Catholic School and Byron Sixth Form CollegeCounty DurhamGrant
St Benet’s Catholic Primary School, OustonCounty DurhamSchool Rebuilding Programme
St Leonard’s Catholic School, DurhamCounty DurhamSchool Rebuilding Programme
Carmel CollegeDarlingtonGrant
St Teresa’s Catholic Primary SchoolDarlingtonGrant
St Edward’s Catholic AcademyDerbyshireSchool Rebuilding Programme
St Elizabeth’s Catholic Voluntary AcademyDerbyshireGrant
Exmouth Community CollegeDevonSchool Rebuilding Programme
Colyton Grammar SchoolDevonGrant
St James AcademyDudleyGrant
Redhill SchoolDudleyGrant
Featherstone High SchoolEalingGrant
The Ellen Wilkinson School for GirlsEalingSchool Rebuilding Programme
Langney Primary AcademyEast SussexGrant
Barnet and Southgate CollegeEnfieldGrant
Winchmore SchoolEnfieldGrant
Ark John Keats AcademyEnfieldGrant
St Ignatius CollegeEnfieldSchool Rebuilding Programme
Cann Hall Primary SchoolEssexGrant
Elm Hall Primary SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Manningtree High SchoolEssexGrant
Priory Primary School, BicknacreEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Southview SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Spring Meadow Primary School & School House NurseryEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Buttsbury Junior SchoolEssexGrant
Merrylands Primary SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Ravens AcademyEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Steeple Bumpstead Primary SchoolEssexGrant
Anglo European SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Barnes Farm Junior SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Baynards Primary SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Beehive Lane Community Primary SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Bentfield Primary School and NurseryEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Broomfield Primary SchoolEssexGrant
Buckhurst Hill Community Primary SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Cherry Tree AcademyEssexGrant
Chipping Ongar Primary SchoolEssexGrant
Clacton County High SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Elmstead Primary SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Eversley Primary SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Great Leighs Primary SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Great Tey Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Harlowbury Primary SchoolEssexOther
Harwich and Dovercourt High SchoolEssexGrant
Hatfield Heath Primary SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Hatfield Peverel St Andrew’s Junior SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Henham and Ugley Primary and Nursery SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Hillhouse CofE Primary SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Hockley Primary SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Holy Trinity CofE Primary School, Eight Ash Green and AldhamEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Jerounds Primary AcademyEssexGrant
Joyce Frankland Academy, NewportEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Katherine Semar Infant SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Katherine Semar Junior SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Katherines Primary Academy and NurseryEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Lambourne Primary SchoolEssexGrant
Lubbins Park Primary AcademyEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Mersea Island SchoolEssexGrant
Mistley Norman Church of England Primary SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Roding Valley High SchoolEssexGrant
Springfield Primary SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
St Helena SchoolEssexGrant
St Lawrence Church of England Primary School, RowhedgeEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Stanway Fiveways Primary SchoolEssexGrant
Tendring Technology CollegeEssexGrant
The Billericay SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
The Bromfords SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
The FitzWimarc SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
The Gilberd SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
The Honywood Community Science SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
The Ramsey Academy, HalsteadEssexGrant
The Thomas Lord Audley SchoolEssexGrant
Thurstable School Sports College and Sixth Form CentreEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Water Lane Primary AcademyEssexGrant
Wells Park SchoolEssexGrant
White Court SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
White Hall Academy and NurseryEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Winter Gardens AcademyEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
Woodville Primary SchoolEssexGrant
Wyburns Primary SchoolEssexSchool Rebuilding Programme
St Anne’s Catholic Primary School, Harlow GreenGatesheadSchool Rebuilding Programme
St Thomas More Catholic School, BlaydonGatesheadGrant
Marling SchoolGloucestershireGrant
St Thomas More Catholic Comprehensive SchoolGreenwichSchool Rebuilding Programme
Westside SchoolHammersmith and FulhamOther
The London Oratory SchoolHammersmith and FulhamGrant
Havant AcademyHampshireSchool Rebuilding Programme
St Anne’s Catholic Primary SchoolHampshireGrant
Farnborough College of TechnologyHampshireGrant
CranbourneHampshireSchool Rebuilding Programme
Hounsdown SchoolHampshireGrant
St Mary’s Priory RC Infant and Junior SchoolHaringeyGrant
Hornsey School for GirlsHaringeySchool Rebuilding Programme
Park View SchoolHaringeyGrant
St John Vianney RC Primary SchoolHaringeySchool Rebuilding Programme
Welbourne Primary SchoolHaringeySchool Rebuilding Programme
Golden Flatts Primary SchoolHartlepoolSchool Rebuilding Programme
The Coopers’ Company and Coborn SchoolHaveringSchool Rebuilding Programme
Bushey and Oxhey Infant SchoolHertfordshireSchool Rebuilding Programme
Churchfield Church of England AcademyHertfordshireGrant
Links AcademyHertfordshireGrant
Watford Grammar School for BoysHertfordshireGrant
Markyate Village School and NurseryHertfordshireGrant
St John Catholic Primary SchoolHertfordshireSchool Rebuilding Programme
Widford SchoolHertfordshireGrant
St Aloysius RC CollegeIslingtonGrant
Westlands SchoolKentSchool Rebuilding Programme
Birchington Church of England Primary SchoolKentSchool Rebuilding Programme
Godinton Primary SchoolKentGrant
King Ethelbert SchoolKentSchool Rebuilding Programme
Palmarsh Primary SchoolKentSchool Rebuilding Programme
St Bartholomew’s Catholic Primary School, SwanleyKentGrant
St James’ Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary SchoolKentSchool Rebuilding Programme
Sunny Bank Primary SchoolKentSchool Rebuilding Programme
Shelley College, A Share AcademyKirkleesGrant
Batley Girls High SchoolKirkleesGrant
Corpus Christi Catholic Primary SchoolLambethGrant
Haslingden St James Church of England Primary SchoolLancashireGrant
Knuzden St Oswald’s Church of England Primary AcademyLancashireGrant
Our Lady’s Catholic High SchoolLancashireSchool Rebuilding Programme
Shadwell Primary SchoolLeedsOther
Woodkirk AcademyLeedsSchool Rebuilding Programme
Mayflower Primary SchoolLeicesterSchool Rebuilding Programme
Parks Primary SchoolLeicesterSchool Rebuilding Programme
St Joseph’s Catholic Voluntary AcademyLeicestershireGrant
Myatt Garden Primary SchoolLewishamGrant
Grantham CollegeLincolnshireGrant
Dixons Broadgreen AcademyLiverpoolGrant
Avenue Centre for EducationLutonGrant
Surrey Street Primary SchoolLutonGrant
All Saints C of E Primary SchoolManchesterSchool Rebuilding Programme
Holcombe Grammar SchoolMedwayGrant
Denbigh SchoolMilton KeynesGrant
St John Vianney Catholic Primary School, West DentonNewcastle upon TyneSchool Rebuilding Programme
St Francis’ Catholic Primary SchoolNewhamGrant
Thomas Bullock Church of England Primary and Nursery AcademyNorfolkGrant
Gordano SchoolNorth SomersetGrant
St Columba’s Catholic Primary School, WallsendNorth TynesideSchool Rebuilding Programme
Scalby SchoolNorth YorkshireSchool Rebuilding Programme
Holy Trinity Catholic Voluntary AcademyNottinghamshireGrant
The Oldham CollegeOldhamGrant
Abingdon and Witney CollegeOxfordshireGrant
Wallingford SchoolOxfordshireSchool Rebuilding Programme
Peterborough College (part of Inspire Education Group)PeterboroughGrant
The Palmer Catholic AcademyRedbridgeSchool Rebuilding Programme
Wood Green AcademySandwellSchool Rebuilding Programme
Abbey Lane Primary SchoolSheffieldGrant
Pippins SchoolSloughGrant
Selworthy Special SchoolSomersetSchool Rebuilding Programme
St James’ Catholic Primary School, HebburnSouth TynesideSchool Rebuilding Programme
Shoeburyness High SchoolSouthend-on-SeaGrant
Kingsdown SchoolSouthend-on-SeaSchool Rebuilding Programme
Sir Thomas Boughey AcademyStaffordshireGrant
Bramhall High SchoolStockportSchool Rebuilding Programme
Cheadle Hulme High SchoolStockportGrant
Royal School, ManchesterStockportGrant
St Thomas’ Church of England Primary School StockportStockportSchool Rebuilding Programme
Marple Sixth Form College (part of Trafford College Group)StockportGrant
Royal College Manchester (Seashell Trust)StockportGrant
Glade AcademySuffolkSchool Rebuilding Programme
Stour Valley Community SchoolSuffolkGrant
Newmarket AcademySuffolkGrant
Stowupland High SchoolSuffolkSchool Rebuilding Programme
Farlingaye High SchoolSuffolkSchool Rebuilding Programme
Claydon High SchoolSuffolkSchool Rebuilding Programme
East Bergholt High SchoolSuffolkSchool Rebuilding Programme
Hadleigh High SchoolSuffolkSchool Rebuilding Programme
Thurston Community CollegeSuffolkSchool Rebuilding Programme
St John Bosco Catholic Primary School, Town End Farm, SunderlandSunderlandSchool Rebuilding Programme
Pewley Down Infant SchoolSurreySchool Rebuilding Programme
Kings College GuildfordSurreyGrant
The Grove Primary AcademySurreyGrant
The Magna Carta SchoolSurreySchool Rebuilding Programme
Danetree Primary SchoolSurreyGrant
Shawfield Primary SchoolSurreySchool Rebuilding Programme
St Paul’s Catholic Primary School, Thames DittonSurreySchool Rebuilding Programme
The Link SchoolSuttonGrant
Donnington Wood Infant School and Nursery CentreTelford and WrekinGrant
Thameside Primary SchoolThurrockGrant
Ortu Corringham Primary School and NurseryThurrockSchool Rebuilding Programme
Arthur Bugler Primary SchoolThurrockSchool Rebuilding Programme
East Tilbury Primary SchoolThurrockSchool Rebuilding Programme
St Clere’s SchoolThurrockSchool Rebuilding Programme
Mulberry Stepney Green Mathematics and Computing CollegeTower HamletsGrant
Stepney All Saints Church of England Secondary SchoolTower HamletsSchool Rebuilding Programme
Seven Mills Primary SchoolTower HamletsGrant
Altrincham CollegeTraffordGrant
Sale Grammar SchoolTraffordGrant
St Thomas à Becket Catholic Secondary School, A Voluntary AcademyWakefieldSchool Rebuilding Programme
Myton SchoolWarwickshireSchool Rebuilding Programme
Outwoods Primary SchoolWarwickshireGrant
Fairfields SchoolWest NorthamptonshireGrant
Northampton International AcademyWest NorthamptonshireGrant
The College of Richard Collyer in HorshamWest SussexOther
Greenway Junior SchoolWest SussexSchool Rebuilding Programme
St Mary Magdalene CofE Primary SchoolWestminsterGrant
Atherton St George’s CofE Primary SchoolWiganGrant
Dean Trust Rose BridgeWiganSchool Rebuilding Programme
St Francis Catholic Primary School, South AscotWindsor and MaidenheadSchool Rebuilding Programme