Last week, Kent based further education established, Hadlow College, entered into administration making it the first college to fall under the insolvency regime 2017.
On 22nd May, the High Court granted an application from the education secretary, Damian Hinds for an education administration order amid reports that the agricultural college was unable 'to make the payroll in February’ and that the Department for Education made payments of up to £2.8million in emergency funding.
The principal Paul Hannan and vice-principal Mark Lumsdon-Taylor have both resigned amid allegations of ‘financial irregularities’ and insolvency practitioners have now been appointed to run the college with the aim of achieving the best possible outcome for creditors and its 2,089 students. It is also understood that The National Lottery and Heritage Funding, both of whom have made substantial payments to the college in the past, are looking to recoup their investments. The National Lottery credit alone is £1.3 million.
Following the High Court judgment, a Department of Education spokesperson said: “Following a request from Hadlow College, we can confirm that the college has today been placed into Education Administration. This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but it is a necessary step to maintain educational provision at Hadlow and to protect learners. The ESFA will continue to work closely with the FE Commissioner, the administrators and with Hadlow College to minimise disruption to staff or students, and to make sure we have excellent provision of FE in Kent.”