Lowestoft Sixth Form College’s financial health rated “inadequate”

Lowestoft Sixth Form College.

Lowestoft Sixth Form College. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Lowestoft Sixth Form College has said it is not facing any immediate challenges after it emerged the government had given it a financial notice to improve, after rating its financial health as 'inadequate'.

The Education Funding Agency (EFA) issued the notice in November, but it was only published yesterday, less than a month after the college announced plans to merge with Great Yarmouth College and Lowestoft College.

The notice gave the college, which Ofsted rated 'good' last year, until January 8 to prepare a financial recovery plan, and said it would have to attend meetings with the EFA on a quarterly basis 'to discuss the progress and pace of your financial recovery'.

Principal Yolanda Botham said a more recent letter from the EFA, dated February 10, recognised 'the college is doing everything it possibly can to keep the budget under control'.

Financial pressures on the college were highlighted last summer in a government review of post-16 provision in north-east Norfolk and north Suffolk. It paved the way for the proposed merger, which Mrs Botham said would ensure the sixth form's long-term financial viability.

She said the college had already made the financial savings required this financial year, without any redundancies, and said 'there is no immediate challenge'.

She added: 'We have made real progress. We have financial reserves and there is no issue that is about to strike us down in the next minute.'

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