First education administration order made (Re The Corporation of Hadlow College)

First education administration order made (Re The Corporation of Hadlow College)  

The first ever education administration order has today been made under the Technical and Further Education Act 2017 (TAFEA 2017) in respect of The Corporation of Hadlow College (Hadlow College). TAFEA 2017 sets out the framework of an insolvency regime which applies to further education and sixth form colleges in England and Wales. It also introduced a special administration regime which is aimed at protecting the interests of learners at an insolvent college.

The Secretary of State for Education applied for an education administration order to be made against Hadlow College. That application was heard on 22 May 2019 before Chief Insolvency and Companies Court Judge Briggs, who made the order sought and appointed Matthew Tait, Graham Newton and Danny Dartnaill of BDO LLP as education administrators.

The special administration regime for further education and sixth form bodies was introduced by TAFEA 2017, Part 2, Chapter 4 and came into force on 31 January 2019 by virtue of The Technical and Further Education Act 2017 (Commencement No 4) Regulations 2018, SI 2018/1161, reg 3(a). The education administration order made in respect of Hadlow College is the first to be made under this special administration regime.

Following the making of the education administration order, Hadlow College’s affairs, business and property are to be managed by the education administrators who must carry out their functions to achieve the objective of the education administration, which is to:

  • avoid or minimise disruption to the studies of the existing students of Hadlow College as a whole, and 
  • ensure that it becomes unnecessary for Hadlow College to remain in education administration for that purpose

The education administrators are not required to safeguard the interests of each existing student individually, but to consider the existing student body as a whole.

The objective also applies only to existing students. This will include students who have accepted a place at Hadlow College, but not students who are seeking a place at Hadlow College because they are seeking a place ‘mid cycle’ due to circumstances that resulted in them leaving their previous institution.

The means by which the education administrator may achieve that objective include:

  • rescuing Hadlow College as a going concern  
  • transferring some or all of its undertaking to another body 
  • keeping it going until existing students have completed their studies 
  • making arrangements for existing students to complete their studies at another institution

This is a non-exclusive list.

TAFEA 2017, Schs 3 and 4 makes amendments to Schedule B1 to the Insolvency Act 1986 to enable the education administrator to carry out their functions and the vast majority of powers available to an administrator are available to an education administrator.

Further reading

Insolvency in the Further and Higher Education Sector (subscription to LexisPSL required) 

For further information on LexisPSl and a free trial, click here 

Related Articles:
Latest Articles:
About the author:

Stephen qualified as a solicitor in 2005 and joined the Restructuring and Insolvency team at Lexis®PSL in September 2014 from Shoosmiths LLP, where he was a senior associate in the restructuring and insolvency team.

Primarily focused on contentious and advisory corporate and personal insolvency work, Stephen’s experience includes acting for office-holders on a wide range of issues, including appointments, investigations and the recovery and realisation of assets (including antecedent transaction claims), and for creditors in respect of the impact on them of the insolvency of debtors and counterparties.