Colleges to receive £96m for coronavirus catch-up

Colleges in England will get a ring-fenced grant to support disadvantaged students whose studies have been disrupted
20th July 2020, 10:13am

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Colleges to receive £96m for coronavirus catch-up

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/colleges-receive-ps96m-coronavirus-catch
Coronavirus: Colleges To Receive £96m In Catch-up Funds

Colleges in England will receive a ring-fenced grant of up to £96 million to support disadvantaged students whose studies have been disrupted due to Covid-19, education secretary Gavin Williamson has announced. 

The “one-off” grant will be available to colleges, sixth forms and all 16-19 providers, and will fund small group tutoring activity for disadvantaged 16-19 students.

The funding forms part of the £350 million tutoring fund for all disadvantaged pupils in schools and colleges. 


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Minister for apprenticeships and skills Gillian Keegan said: “I’m absolutely delighted that we have secured an additional £96 million so colleges, sixth forms and all 16-19 providers can provide small group tutoring activity for disadvantaged students whose studies have been disrupted due to Covid-19.

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“The past few months have been extremely challenging for students, and we are really grateful to the FE sector for their hard work to support students to study online. This funding will make sure those that students who will benefit from additional tutoring support will get the help they need to get ahead.”

Julian Gravatt, deputy chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said that the £96 million was a welcome step for colleges, but that the decision should have come sooner. 

“We have argued all along that they deserve as much support to overcome the challenges thrown up by Covid-19 as every other age group, including their peers in schools,” he said. 

“The ringfenced funding for disadvantaged 16-19 students will allow colleges to be flexible in their support programmes and enable them to reach those most in need. For example, 70 per cent of students resitting English and maths are from disadvantaged backgrounds and will need tailored and concentrated support to ensure they can succeed next academic year, despite the disruption. 

“Today’s announcement is a strong sign that the government recognises the unique role colleges play in getting the country’s young people back up to speed but, in future, it would be better to get these decisions out earlier. Most colleges have already set their budgets for 2020-1.”

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