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Funding letter brings welcome news for providers

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Colleges and training providers have welcomed the announcement from the Education Funding Agency that it will maintain the base rate of funding for full- and part-time students in 2016-17.

In a letter published today, the EFA said the national base rate for 16- to 17-year-old full-time students would remain at £4,000, with that for 18-year-olds at £3,300. Funding rates for part-time students would also be maintained, the letter said.

Martin Doel (pictured), chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said the organisation was pleased to see that the Department for Education had maintained the level of funding per student. “This will help colleges to continue to provide quality education and training for their students and a stable working life for their staff," he said.

“There are challenges ahead for colleges, such as new technical qualifications, new A-levels and an increased number of students retaking GCSE English and maths; however, knowing that they have stable funding will help them to tackle these challenges.”

Stewart Segal, chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, said it was “particularly pleasing” to see the EFA consider further growth funding for traineeships in the current year. “AELP is also pleased that the core funding rate for 16- and 17-year-olds is being maintained, but this does mean that providers still have to manage cost increases," he added.

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