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West Anglia College

Volume 649: debated on Monday 12 November 2018

1. What discussions he has had with West Anglia College on his Department’s document “Investigation Report: the College of West Anglia”, published in August 2018. (907536)

The Education and Skills Funding Agency has been clear that West Anglia College cannot undertake any further subcontracting until the ESFA is satisfied that all the proper procedures highlighted in the report are in place. Frequent dialogue with the college continues, and I will keep the hon. Gentleman informed. I praise him for his tenacity in highlighting this issue.

West Anglia College is avoiding me. Some £160,000-worth of taxpayers’ money, yet not a single student—all from my constituency—is fulfilling and passing the course. The college did not even know that the course was taking place 50 miles away from where it thought it was taking place. Is it not incumbent on the college now to attend a meeting and to pay back the money that has been lost by some of my constituents, in terms of facilities and expenses, because of the shambles delivered by West Anglia College?

The hon. Gentleman’s term “shambles” is not inappropriate. This has been a shocking case, and it is from such cases that we learn lessons to make sure that it does not happen again. He talks about paying the money back, and I am sure the ESFA is looking at all possible options to make sure that his constituents are well served.

I have a feeling the hon. Member for Bassetlaw (John Mann) might seek an Adjournment debate on the matter. Who knows, he might be successful.