FE funding 'too low', post-18 review told

Evidence submitted to the post-18 education review complained of low levels of funding, says chair Philip Augar

Stephen Exley

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Institutional funding for FE providers is too low, according to evidence submitted to the government’s review of post-18 education.

Addressing the Association of Employment and Learning Providers’ national conference in London today, review chair Philip Augar insisted the panel would look at the “full diversity” of FE providers.

Derby College was chosen as the venue for the launch of the review “quite deliberately as being representative of the broad universe of education institutions that the government is interested in”, Ms Augar said.

And clear themes have emerged in many of the 400 pieces of evidence submitted to the review so far, he added: “Pretty much all of the institutions who replied, the providers who replied, said that funding was too low; particualrly, we observed, in FE.”

'Unbalanced and unfair'

Evidence also pointed out that the current system was “unbalanced and unfair”, particularly for “non-traditional” students such as part-time and mature learners, Mr Augar told the conference.

The nine-month review is expected to conclude in November, with its findings expected to be published in early 2019.

The review panel will focus on choice, value for money, access and skills provision. When it was launched, Mr Auguar said: “We begin with no preconceptions and our first priority will be a serious examination of the evidence and hearing from a broad range of stakeholders who, like us, are committed to ensuring the system works for everyone."

The review panel includes Bev Robinson, principal of Blackpool and the Fylde College.

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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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