Colleges have now received £405 million in restructuring funds, according to the Education and Skills Funding Agency.
In February, it was confirmed that 76 applications had been received for support from the facility, set up to help to pay for reorganisation and mergers following the area review process. Thirty applications were from 31 sixth-form colleges expressing plans to convert to academy status, with 46 applications to support restructuring within the college sector. Of those 76 applications, 62 cases have been assessed and approved.
Quick read: 76 applications for FE support funding received
Want to know more? 'This was never going to be available forever... Get a move on'
Last August, skills minister Anne Milton, FE commissioner Richard Atkins and the Association of Colleges called on college leaders not to miss out on their share of the £700 million college restructuring facility. It was feared colleges would not apply out of a fear that the act of applying for financial assistance could make them a target for closer scrutiny from the FE commissioner and Ofsted.
Now, the ESFA has said that the total spend so far was £405 million – of which more than £5 million has been repaid to date. “£40 million has been made available in 2019-20 to support cases where it was essential that funding was provided to this timeline,” said the ESFA.