Heads of Student Loans Company quit
The chief executive of the beleaguered Student Loans Company resigned yesterday after the Government made it clear it had no confidence in him.
Ralph Seymour-Jackson resigned after the new Universities minister, David Willetts, indicated he should go, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) said. Mr Willetts also asked John Goodfellow, the chairman, to leave.
The dramatic moves followed a fresh assessment of the company which concluded there were still causes for concern in the way the body was run.
Last year tens of thousands of students suffered months of delays to their loan and grant payments, leading to an inquiry which reported that there had been "conspicuous failures which had a far-reaching impact on students".
A spokeswoman for BIS said: "Mr Willetts asked Mr Goodfellow to step down and indicated while it is a decision for the board, he had no confidence in Mr Seymour-Jackson."
An inquiry into the SLC which was commissioned by the previous government and published yesterday, said it was "surprised by the lack of focus and urgency" in addressing issues raised in the original report.
Of an anticipated 880,000 applications for loans this autumn, only 264,000 have been registered, with 114,000 being processed for payment. Yesterday's report also found the SLC's call centres were short of 100 staff needed to meet call targets at the peak of applications.
This year is expected to see a record number of applicants for places as a result of the economic climate. "Last year the service fell short of what students and their parents had every right to expect," said Mr Willetts. "While improvements have been put in place since last year, we are not out of the woods yet."
He added: "Having read the latest report on the SLC by PricewaterhouseCoopers, it is clear urgent changes to the leadership are needed to ensure students get the service they deserve."
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "We must avoid a repetition of the problems," adding that last year's "crisis" had "caused real upset for students and their families, many of whom lost confidence in the system".
Sir Deian Hopkin, the former vice-chancellor of London South Bank University and the man who carried out last year's inquiry, has been appointed chairman in Mr Goodfellow's place.
Last night the National Union of Students welcomed the departures – saying it had long held the belief that there was a need for changes at the top of the company.
Student jailed for hacking University of Birmingham computers to improve his grades
Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Royal baby: Live updates as the wait continues for Duchess of Cambridge's second child
Hermann Goering's daughter fails to reclaim items looted by Nazi deputy during WWII
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
- 1 Student jailed for hacking University of Birmingham computers to improve his grades
- 2 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
£40000 - £48000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engineer - Windo...
£25 - 32,500K (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Produ...
£16000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning independent ...
£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...