The number of colleges running at an operating loss is expected to rise significantly, according to new figures from the Education Funding Agency.
Speaking at the Association of Colleges annual conference in Birmingham this afternoon, Peter Mucklow, the EFA's director for young people, said that colleges' financial plans suggested that 48 per cent of them made an operating loss for 2015-16 - up by a quarter from the 38 per cent figure in 2014-15.
He described the projected increase as "quite a big rise”, but acknowledged that the final figure could end up being lower. Mr Mucklow also said the latest data showed the proportion of colleges in outstanding or good financial health was reducing over time.
However, the EFA director also revealed more positive news on college finance: “For the first time in some time, we are seeing an overall increase in the [earnings] of institutions in relation to adult education and training. That is something we haven’t been able to say in many years.”
Mr Mucklow also revealed that transitional protection for colleges in terms of GCSE resits will be extended for an extra year and applied to 2017-18 funding allocations.
FE SPECIAL OFFER: click here to try out a TES Further Education subscription for just £1 for 4 weeks.