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Hadlow Group chief executive and principal Paul Hannan goes on sick leave days after Mark Lumsdon-Taylor resigns amid Further Education Commissioner intervention

The principal and chief executive of the Hadlow Group has gone on sick leave - just days after his deputy resigned and a college regulator stepped in.

Staff were told in an email last week that Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, the group's deputy principal and chief executive, was leaving after 16 years with the group, which runs West Kent and Ashford College.

His departure came as the Further Education Commissioner - which recommends what actions college governing bodies could make to improve performance - formally intervened, over concerns understood to be related to the group's finances.

Paul Hannan has left the Hadlow Group on health grounds. Picture: Manu Palomeque
Paul Hannan has left the Hadlow Group on health grounds. Picture: Manu Palomeque

Now it has been revealed the group's principal and chief executive, Paul Hannan, has also left on health grounds, meaning the group is on the hunt for an interim chief executive.

A spokesperson for the group said: "Governors are working proactively with the FEC and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

"The outcomes from the current FEC visits are still on-going and not yet finalised, and as such, we cannot comment further at this time.

"The board can confirm that it has accepted the resignation of the group deputy principal and deputy CEO.

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor has announced his resignation
Mark Lumsdon-Taylor has announced his resignation

"The board can confirm the group principal and CEO is on leave due to ill health.

"In his absence, the board is in the process of putting in place interim senior leadership arrangements.

"In the meantime, our priority remains focused on continuing to deliver good teaching and learning for our students through dedicated and excellent staff.

"The board will provide further information as soon as it’s in a position to do so."

The visit by the FEC comes just three months after college bosses were left baffled after receiving a 'Requires Improvement' grade from Ofsted, despite being rated 'Good' in six out of eight assessment areas.

Inspectors praised the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, effectiveness of leadership and management, personal development, behaviour, welfare and 16-19 study programmes but found too many students leaving their course early and not achieving their qualifications, and too few apprentices making the progress expected of them.

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