Increase in prosperity for West Kent College

Calverley House

A review of West Kent College in Tonbridge and Ashford College by the Government’s Skills Funding Agency (SFA) has seen them awarded an outstanding financial rating.

Both institutions had formerly been under K College, which was taken over by the Hadlow Group in 2014. This averted their closure due to previous operating losses.

Hadlow confirmed it had taken on the majority of the debt from the two colleges, and kept on most of the staff that had been previously employed across the two sites.

The latest SFA review follows further challenges for West Kent College after teachers, backed by the Association of Colleges, considered strike action in February. The threat of industrial action was later withdrawn.

Hadlow Group Principal, Paul Hannan, explained the financial improvement seen at West Kent and Ashford would create greater stability.

He said: “This is a fantastic achievement and validates the sound decisions we have made with our capital programme. We pledged to secure the future of K College, and not only have we done that, we’ve ensured it has flourished under its rebranding and achieved outstanding financial health.”

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, Director of Finance and Resources, shared his assessment that within 18 months the two colleges had shown improvement under Hadlow’s management.

He added: “We were confident in our innovative educational and financial strategy to transform K College, and this rating serves to usher in a new prosperous era under the Hadlow Group.

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