• Troubled Easton and Otley College to be demerged and taken over

    A troubled land-based college is to be broken up and merged with two other colleges, following two consecutive ‘inadequate’ ratings by Ofsted. Easton and Otley College was told to urgently improve its leadership earlier this year after the FE Commissioner raised serious quality and financial concerns. Just a few of months ago the college, which

    10.33 Jun. 6th, 2019 | News

  • Former college staff get a chance to challenge FE Commissioner reports

    Former employees or governors criticised in FE commissioner reports can now read and challenge the report before it is published. Updated guidance on FE commissioner visits, released in April, explains how reports written by Richard Atkins’ team will shared ahead of publication. FE Week understands that Department for Education officials changed the policy on legal

    11.01 May. 3rd, 2019 | News

  • Funding clawback for college at risk of cash crisis

    A college already in financial difficulty is being forced to pay back nearly £1 million to the government as a result of working with a subcontractor investigated for falsifying learner records. In a report published last Friday by the FE commissioner, North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College was warned that it needed to take “urgent

    11.05 Mar. 29th, 2019 | News

  • Bailout cash will still be available under new insolvency regime

    Colleges will still be able to access some bailout funding once the insolvency regime comes into effect next year – even though the government has previously said the tap will be switched off. This was revealed in a letter from Peter Mucklow, FE director at the Education and Skills Funding Agency, published on Wednesday, which

    11.00 Dec. 14th, 2018 | News

  • FE commissioner: check with me before appointing a principal

    The FE commissioner has urged college governors to check with him before appointing a principal as part of a crackdown on “serial offenders” ahead of the incoming college insolvency regime. Richard Atkins was speaking exclusively to FE Week in the same week he was reappointed to the role for another two years. “I would encourage

    11.00 Nov. 30th, 2018 | News

  • Richard Atkins re-appointed FE commissioner for further 2 years

    Richard Atkins has been re-appointed FE commissioner for a further two years, the Department for Education has revealed today. The announcement, which comes two years after the former Exeter College principal took over the reins from Sir David Collins, follows an exclusive FE Week interview with the commissioner earlier this week in which he recapped

    9.49 Nov. 29th, 2018 | News

  • FE commissioner annual report: number of colleges put into intervention drops by more than half

    The number of colleges referred for formal intervention by the FE commissioner fell by more than half last year – and none them were the result of an ‘inadequate’ Ofsted grade, according to Richard Atkins’ 2017/18 annual report, published today. But the number of colleges in financial difficulties referred to Mr Atkins and his team

    10.54 Nov. 20th, 2018 | News

  • College defends appointment of principal who jumped ship before financial failings exposed

    A principal who jumped ship before the financial failings of his former college were uncovered has the backing of the board at the college he moved onto. The confirmation came in a reply, seen by FE Week, to University and College Union officials at City College Plymouth in response to their letter demanding answers about

    17.41 Nov. 6th, 2018 | News

  • August is key merger month amid 17 partnerships for 2018

    A partnership that was bitterly opposed by a local council, and the first university-college link-up in six years, are among four mergers set to go through on August 1. They are among 17 partnerships due to be formalised this year, despite Ofsted’s recent warning that bigger colleges are not always better. Financially stricken Epping Forest

    8.00 Jul. 16th, 2018 | News

  • Chair of college embroiled in bitter merger row resigns

    The embattled chair of a London college that was at the centre of a bitter row with staff and local residents over its merger plans has dramatically resigned. Mary Curnock Cook (pictured above), chair of Kensington Chelsea College, was said to have walked out of a governors’ meeting last night after announcing she was stepping

    11.04 Jul. 10th, 2018 | News

  • Hull College boss: How I'm taking it out of intensive care

    Hull College chief executive Michelle Swithenbank probably has the toughest job in FE right now. The former nurse has been charged with taking a college which has received the largest ever government bailout to any FE institution out of intensive care and back on the road to recovery. It’s a task that would challenge the

    10.07 Jun. 22nd, 2018 | News