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National awards recognition for Telford College

National awards recognition for Telford College

Telford College’s leadership team has received national recognition for the way it has transformed the organisation’s financial health.

The college was celebrated at the IFT Annual Awards in London, which showcases ‘the very best in turnaround and transformation practice and outcomes’.  

It was named runner-up in the Community Impact category, having been nominated by Barclays.

The awards dinner at the Rosewood Hotel was attended by key individuals and firms including advisers, investors, lawyers and lenders.

The competition is run by the Institute for Turnaround, the only UK accrediting membership organisation for turnaround and transformation professionals, and overseen by an independent judging panel.

Graham Guest took over as principal and chief executive in 2017 to oversee the merger between Telford College of Arts & Technology and New College Telford.

At the time, the college was declared financially ‘inadequate’ after racking up multi-million pound deficits for three consecutive years, and had been given a ‘requires improvement’ grading by Ofsted.

Today it is officially recognised as financially ‘Outstanding’ after delivering a surplus for the past four years, and has been upgraded to ‘Good’ by Ofsted.

The college has exciting plans to expand its A level provision, including the creation of a new dedicated sixth form centre and specialist maths & digital skills hub in the heart of Telford, as part of the Station Quarter development.

And for adult programmes leading to employment, Telford College has been ranked the highest and top performing college in the West Midlands Combined Authority area, based on achievement and retention.

Mr Guest, who attended the awards dinner with deputy chief executive Janet Stephens, said:

“This recognition is testament to the hard work and dedication of so many members of the Telford College team.

“We also owe a debt of gratitude to the many supporters and stakeholders who supported and believed in us along the way.

“One of the cornerstones of our strategic plan is to work even more closely with the Shropshire business community. We are very keen to ensure we play a role in putting something back into the local economy.” 

The awards came a day after Telford College was also involved in a reception at the House of Lords to mark ‘Love Our Colleges’ week, and met with education secretary Gillian Keegan and shadow leaders from Labour and the Liberal Democrats to discuss future plans for further education.

Janet Stephens said: “It was a very productive couple of days – great profile for Telford College, and fantastic to be able to contribute to such high-level debates around the skills revolution.”

In the latest Ofsted report for Telford College, inspectors said:

“Senior leaders and governors have worked well to ensure the corporation has the skills to provide appropriate support and challenge to senior leaders.

“Governors’ backgrounds include finance, business, education and chambers of commerce. They use their skills well to support the college in the development of the strategic plan to meet local and national skills needs.”

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