Education Administration

On 22 May 2019, Matthew Tait, Graham Newton and Danny Dartnaill, all of BDO LLP, were appointed by the High Court of Justice as Joint Education Administrators over the business, property and affairs of the Corporation of Hadlow College (‘the College’).

The primary focus of the Joint Education Administrators will be to provide an outcome with minimum, if any, disruption to the studies of the existing learners as a whole including, in particular, those learners with special educational needs. 

The Joint Education Administrators will work in conjunction with Graham Morley and his senior management team to ensure the continued provision for learners whilst the College continues to operate as normal.  At the same, they are also working closely with the Further Education Commissioner to examine a number of options with the purpose of implementing a sustainable solution for the College and its learners whilst also considering the best outcome for creditors.

The Education Administration may be a cause of concern to a number of people or organisations involved with the College. Below are some questions and answers to provide some further information about the Education Administration process and what it means.

The affairs, business and property of the College are being managed by the Joint Education Administrators who act as agents of the College and without any personal liability.

Matthew Tait and Danny Dartnaill are authorised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales in the UK.

Graham Newton is authorised by the Insolvency Practitioners Association in the UK.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is education administration? How does it differ from a “normal” administration?

An Education Administration is a process specifically for further education bodies. The objective of an education administration is to avoid or minimise disruption to the studies of the existing students of the college, and those who have enrolled, as a whole while securing the best outcome for creditors as a whole.  This differs to a “normal” administration where the underlying primary duty of the administrator is to act in the interests of creditors generally. 

Further details as to the education administration process can be found in Department for Education Guidance and Association of Colleges' Guidance

The financial challenges facing Hadlow College were such that, in order to secure provision for the learners while balancing the interests of creditors, an application was made to the High Court for Hadlow College to enter into education administration.

Having only just been appointed, the immediate focus of the Education Administrators is to work with the College to ensure a minimum of disruption.  Under statute (Company Directors Disqualification Act), the Education Administrators are required to investigate and report on individuals holding executive office in the three years prior to the Education Administration Order. This report will be delivered in due course to the Insolvency Service, an agency of DBEIS.

It is not envisaged that the College will close. The Education Administrators are working with the Further Education Commissioner to identify and implement a sustainable solution that will enable the continued provision of studies for existing learners as a whole. The College will continue to operate as normal whilst these options are considered.  
The most likely outcomes in these types of situations are that the college either continues in a similar structure under new governance or merges with another college(s).

The Education Administration Order only applies to Hadlow College and does not include any Hadlow College subsidiaries, including Betteshanger Sustainable Park Ltd, Betteshanger Country Park Ltd, Grove Farm Park Ltd or Hadlow Rural Community School. 

Equally, the Education Administration Order does not apply to West Kent and Ashford College, which is a separate legal entity to Hadlow College, or any of its subsidiaries.

The Education Administrators are all partners of BDO LLP. 

The priority of the Education Administrators and their team is to maintain the stability of the College and minimise disruption for existing learners. 

They are working in conjunction with Graham Morley and his senior team, together with other key stakeholders, to enable the College to operate as normal during the Education Administration. 

They will also be examining a number of options in order to implement a sustainable solution for the College and its learners whilst also considering the best outcome for creditors.

At this point in time, it would be inappropriate to put a timeframe on the Education Administration process, but we would stress that the Education Administrators have an obligation to fulfil their duties as expeditiously as possible.  There is an ongoing process being run by the Further Education Commissioner (FEC) and we will work with the FEC to give that process due time to run its proper course and enable a sustainable solution to be found for the College and its learners.

The College is continuing to operate as normal during the Education Administration.  As such, the College will be continuing, as planned, to accept applications from prospective students and to enrol students for the forthcoming academic year. 

The College is continuing to operate as normal during this time and enquiries should be directed to the College finance team in the usual way. Any orders placed by the Education Administrators on behalf of the College will be paid, on normal payment terms, as an expense of the Education Administration

Anybody that was owed money by the College as at 22 May 2019 will be an unsecured creditor of the Education Administration estate. 

In the days immediately following their appointment, the Education Administrators will be writing to all parties that, according to the records of the College, are believed to creditors. This letter will provide all necessary information to enable creditors to submit their claim. 

The Education Administrators will write to all known creditors shortly after their appointment and invite creditors to submit their claim.

To do so, creditors should complete a proof of debt form (available on request from the Education Administrators) and submit it to the offices of the Education Administrators together with evidence in support of the debt that is owed.

Anyone that has not received a letter from the Education Administrators but who consider themselves to be a creditor, can contact the Education Administrators with the details of their claim at 

Any orders placed after 22 May 2019 by the Education Administrators on behalf of the College will be paid on normal payment terms.

At this time, the Education Administrators are not in a position to comment on the likely outcome for creditors who were owed money by the College as at the time that the Education Administration Order was made.

The Education Administrators are required to issue reports to creditors every 6 months to provide creditors with an update on the progress being made in the Education Administration.