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Funding loophole is closed

A loophole in funding regulations which allowed colleges to claim cash for school pupils by registering them under special franchise arrangements has been closed by the Further Education Funding Council.

The practice led to allegations of "double funding" in which colleges claimed FEFC cash for students who were based in schools under collaborative deals. At the same time schools were said to be claiming cash from their local education authority.

Moves to prevent such abuses were published in detailed revised guidance by the FEFC which has "clarified" a wide range of franchise practices where FE colleges "buy" FEFC funded programmes for other agencies such as schools, industry and universities to run. Provision for full-time 16 to 18-year-olds made entirely in schools will not be eligible for FEFC cash. Where colleges and schools have joint provision, it must be fully under the control of the college and more than half taught by college staff.

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