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National awards recognition for college’s financial turnaround

Telford College has been shortlisted for a national award in recognition of the way the leadership team has transformed its financial health.

The college is a finalist in the IFT Annual Awards, which showcases ‘the very best in turnaround and transformation practice and outcomes’.  

Attended by the key individuals and firms who are active in the UK marketplace – including advisers, investors, lawyers and lenders – the awards dinner in London is a landmark event in the UK business calendar.

Telford College has been recognised in the Community Impact category, and will discover if it has won the title at the dinner on October 19. The college was nominated for the award by Barclays.

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.

The Institute says:

“Securing an award in a firm or individual category is recognised as a badge of excellence.”

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 a ‘requires improvement’ grading from Ofsted.

Today the college 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’s A level provision has also been recognised in the nationwide further education sector as being in the top 10%, with 100% pass rates across many curriculum areas.

And for adult courses, Telford College was the highest ranking and top performing college in the West Midlands Combined Authority area, based on achievement and retention.

Mr Guest said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted for this award, which 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.” 

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.”

This is the latest in a series of awards recognition milestones for Telford College over the past few months.

It has been commended in the national Beacon Awards for a ‘high level of innovation, impact and sustainability’, won a Silver Pearson Teaching Award, and been shortlisted for a City & Guilds Award for its engagement work with employers.

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