Allegations that Matthew Boulton College wrongly claimed funding units for ineligible courses are being investigated by the Further Education Funding Council.
An FEFC source confirmed the council was in the early stages of examining a formal allegation that the college may have misclaimed public money and early inquiries are focusing on student data returns. The FEFC spokesman said: "Certain aspects of the college's activities are being examined." He declined to comment further. Last year the FEFC said the college had "difficulties in relation to the data returns that quantify student activity".
It is understood that a complainant has alleged funding was claimed last year for franchised one-day courses that should have entailed nine hours' "guided learning". The courses - in food hygiene, first aid and health and safety - did not last that long, it is claimed. But this week the college denied there was an investigation "to the best of our knowledge". "I can confirm that no investigation of franchise courses run by Matthew Boulton is being undertaken by the FEFC. Were the FEFC looking into such an issue, they would certainly have informed us," said director of business resources Ray Goy.