Is Stoke-on-Trent College in a fit state to become an academy sponsor?

Stoke-on-Trent College is in dire financial straits. The Sentinel reports that the college finished last year £4.8 million in debt! The Skills Funding Agency has served the college with a financial notice to improve and is to monitor them regularly. The college plans a rapid restructuring to reduce its staffing budget by £4 million; 170 staff are at risk whilst only 60 have volunteered for redundancy. Jeff Kent of the University and College Union is quoted in the Sentinel as saying “the college has been appallingly financially managed in the past”.

Stoke-on-Trent College is the proposed sponsor for the contraversial academy school which the council cabinet wants to impose as a merger of Mitchell and Edensor high schools, on a currently unknown site since we so resoundingly defeated the planning application to use green space in Adderley Green.

The question is, how can this college, which is struggling to cope with its own problems, possibly be in a position to take on sponsoring an academy?

The merger of two schools so far apart is madness in any case. A merger of Mitchell and Berry Hill makes more sense.

Furthermore the Community Schools Action Group does not want an academy. A community schoool or a foundation school is favoured instead.

There are so many pointers now that this Stoke-on-Trent College sponsored academy is simply not feasible.

What do you think?

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