To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the insolvency of Hadlow College, what discussions (a) he and (b) the Education and Skills Funding Agency has had with (i) staff and (ii) student representatives at Hadlow College on protecting learner provision for existing students.
5 June 2019
Students are at the heart of the new education administration regime: its primary objective is to avoid or minimise disruption to the studies of existing students.
During the education administration, Hadlow College will continue to operate as usual and communications with students and staff have been a priority. The administrators have led communications with staff, including briefing sessions, a letter to all staff and a meeting with the University and College Union.
We understand from administrators that there are no student representatives other than the student governors. Therefore, in discussion with college management, the administrators have decided to communicate to students mostly through teachers as it was felt that this approach was least disruptive. College staff have been actively encouraged to update and answer questions from their students. The college also wrote to existing students, parents and guardians and prospective students to assure them that classes, exams and enrolments are continuing as normal. Students have been encouraged to submit queries either directly to the college communications team or via their teachers.
Earlier this year, we established a panel of insolvency practitioners to work on further education (FE) insolvencies, following a procurement process which, among other things, looked at FE sector experience. The firm appointed for Hadlow College’s insolvency is BDO, which has experience of the FE sector. Additionally, the administrators can draw on a wide range of other education expertise, including governors and staff at the college, the FE Commissioner’s team and the wider sector.