THE principal of Birmingham Metropolitan College has reportedly resigned from his post.

Andrew Cleaves had been at the helm as principal and chief executive at BMet since 2014 - having previously been a senior executive at transport group National Express.

Mr Cleaves vowed to strengthen links with the college, which has campuses in Stourbridge, Brierley Hill and Kidderminster, and businesses across the region when he took over from Dame Christine Braddock four years ago and he got off to a popular start by resurrecting the Stourbridge College name, which had been lost to the BMet brand, amid a £6.5million revamp of the college’s Hagley Road campus.

But just a year later, financial troubles at BMet led to the announcement that up to 250 posts were to go and the college was made the subject of a notice of concern by the Education and Skills Funding Agency after the then Minister of State for Skills, Nick Boles MP, sent in the FE Commissioner to assess the capability of BMet bosses to secure a sustainable recovery amid the college’s money woes.

Later that year BMet announced it would be axing its Advanced Technology Centre in Brierley Hill in September 2016.

The college also received a 'requires improvement' rating from Ofsted in June 2015 and again in March 2017 when inspectors found that governors and senior managers had not successfully tackled three of the significant areas for improvement from the previous inspection.

In a letter to staff, sent out yesterday (Monday), college bosses confirmed the resignation of Mr Cleaves, who according to education website Tes was one of the highest paid college principals in England in 2015-16 - picking up £266,000 that year and the year before.

In the meantime it's believed an interim principal has been appointed to steer the college, one of the largest of its kind in the UK with more than 25,000 students, through the next few months and the forthcoming Ofsted inspection.