College funding boost to be announced tomorrow

After a seven-year freeze, the 16-18 funding rate is finally set to be increased

Stephen Exley

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A multi-million-pound funding boost for colleges and sixth-forms will be announced tomorrow.

The news was confirmed in a statement published this evening by the Department for Education, outlining a £14 billion package for primary and secondary education.

It stated: “Further details on new funding for sixth forms and further education will be set out tomorrow, followed by reforms to teacher pay, measures to ensure standards in schools and colleges continue to rise, and action to tackle poor behaviour and bullying.”

This comes days after a leaked document revealed that the DfE was “battling the Treasury for £800 million for further education and sixth-form colleges”.

Background: £800m for further education: What's really going on?

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16-18 funding: Raising the rate?

Tes understands that the figure to be released tomorrow is expected to be lower than £800 million, but will include an increase in the base rate of 16-18 funding, as well as extra cash to cover rising pensions contributions for colleges. However, it is not expected to cover apprenticeships or adult education.

The additional funding  comes  ahead of the chancellor’s spending round next Wednesday.

Almost 100 MPs have urged chancellor Sajid Javid to boost 16 to 18 funding in next week’s spending announcement, in a letter published this morning by the Sixth Form Colleges Association. The base rate of funding has not been increased for seven years.

Funding for 16-18 students in colleges dropped by 18 per cent in real terms between 2010-11 and 2018-19, according to a report from the Education Policy Institute published in May.

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Stephen Exley

Stephen Exley

Stephen Exley is a freelance writer, director of external affairs at Villiers Park Educational Trust and former FE editor at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @stephenexley

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