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16-18 funding to remain frozen for seventh year

Base rate for funding will remain pegged at £4,000 per student for the 2019-20 academic year

16 to 18 funding will remain frozen, the Education and Skills Funding Agency confirms

The amount of funding given to colleges, schools and sixth forms to deliver education for 16- to 18-year-olds will remain unchanged for the seventh year running.

In a letter to education providers, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) confirmed that the base rate for 16-18 funding would remain frozen at £4,000 per student for the 2019-20 academic year.

Sixth Form Colleges Association deputy chief executive James Kewin greeted the news as “disappointing but not surprising”.

In the letter, the ESFA said "although base funding rates have not been increased, government will continue in 2019 to 2020 to make new investment in 16 to 19 education to improve choices for students, quality and skills training". This includes up to £20 million over the two years to March 2020 to support providers, as they prepare for the introduction of T levels.

'Support services are being reduced'

He added: “Inexplicably, the funding rate for 18-year-olds remains lower than for younger students. Since 2013, costs have rocketed, the government has demanded more of schools and colleges, and the needs of students have become increasingly complex.

“As our most recent funding impact survey showed, courses are being cut, student-support services are being reduced and extracurricular activities are disappearing. Attempting to defend the indefensible by pointing to small pots of cash attached to technical education or maths is something that colleges and schools find deeply frustrating.

“All 16- to 18-year-olds deserve to have their education properly funded and the only way to make that happen is to raise the rate in next year’s spending review.”

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