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Hadlow College announced as preferred bidder to take over K College in Ashford, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells

21 February 2014
by KentOnline reporter

Hadlow College has been announced as the preferred bidder to take over the running of K College in three Kent towns.

Thirty organisations applied to take it over, which was later whittled down to a shortlist of eight potential providers.

The new agreement covers the sites in Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Ashford.

K College has campuses across Kent, including Tonbridge

K College has campuses across Kent, including Tonbridge

Earlier this month, East Kent College was announced as the preferred bidder to take over K College's campuses in Folkestone and Dover.
 
The break-up of the college, which was formed of a merger between West Kent College and South Kent College in 2010, comes after it ran up a deficit of £16million.
 
About 180 staff lost their jobs as the college tried to rein in the spiralling deficit.
 
Government further education funding chiefs stepped in to stabilise the college and decided it should be split in two, with one half incorporating the Dover and Folkstone campuses, the other comprising Ashford, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.

It completes K College’s agreement with the Minister for Further Education, Matthew Hancock, to identify alternative providers as quickly as possible, as part of a transition process which began 18 months ago.

Chair of Governors for Hadlow College, Nicolas Coffin, said the college's aim was to work with K College to "deliver outstanding education and training to suit the individual needs of the different communities."

K College

K College

He added: "We perceive this as a wonderful opportunity for students, staff and

businesses to create a real pathway to sustainable success.

Principal Paul Hannan said the college had been working on the project for more than a year and were thrilled to be chosen as preferred bidder.

He added: "Over the last year we have received great support for our work from all the local communities involved.

"This will be a fantastic opportunity to create ‘outstanding’ provision in each town to mirror that provided at Hadlow College.

"This will provide excellent further and higher education opportunities for the local people, for business and for employers."

Hadlow College now has six months before the new and enlarged Hadlow Group is launched on August 1.

"I am delighted that our innovative educational and financial strategy to transform K College has been accepted" - Matt Lumsdon-Taylor

Intensive work will now start, he said, to ensure the larger college delivers outstanding teaching across the group.

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, Director of Finance & Resources said: "This is a very clear steer from the Board of K College that the importance of a local solution is critical to the future of students in Kent.

"I am delighted that our innovative educational and financial strategy to transform K College has been accepted.

"The development of the new organisation will make a real difference to local and regional communities, business, individuals and the wider landscape of Kent."

Hadlow College is Ofsted rated as an ‘outstanding’ higher and further education college.

 

Click here for more news from Maidstone.

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