Exceptional financial support is now available for sixth-form colleges which need it, after the Department for Education (DfE) updated its guidance to bring the rules in line with those for general FE colleges.
The DfE updated its guidance which now states that limited support may be made available to sixth-form colleges and general FE colleges to help to address short- and medium-term financial weaknesses, short-term stability while an FE commissioner-led intervention is underway or longer-term actions to deliver “robust sustainable business models, good financial controls and strong resilience to change”.
The Sixth Form Colleges Association (SFCA) has welcomed the news, but it cautioned that it may need to be updated again in the not too distant future.
James Kewin, deputy chief executive of the SFCA, said: “It’s helpful that the arrangements for sixth-form colleges are now aligned with those for FE colleges. But the introduction of the insolvency regime means that arrangements for colleges in financial difficulty are likely to change again in the near future.
“The vast majority of sixth-form colleges will not require exceptional financial support, but there is no question that ongoing funding pressures are having a negative effect on the financial health of the sector.
“That is why we are pleased the DfE is reviewing the sufficiency of funding levels in the FE sector in response to our joint funding campaign."