Pounds 1m more for London colleges

Inner-London colleges will receive up to Pounds 1 million extra cash each to reflect high salary costs in the capital if recommendations to the Further Education Funding Council are approved, writes Ian Nash.

A special FEFC committee was set up earlier this year to investigate claims that high costs were damaging quality and driving down recruitment. The London costs committee has recommended a doubling of the cash earmarked for dealing with problems unique to the capital.

At present these colleges receive 5 to 7 per cent extra on their budgets. It will rise to 12 per cent if recommendations are approved by the FEFC tariff committee next month. Added to cash to be given to promote Baroness Kennedy's recommendations on widening participation, inner-London colleges stand to gain up to Pounds 1.5 million next year.

While there was full support from principals in and out of London on the committee, it is understood to have provoked renewed demands from rural colleges for special treatment to meet unduly high transport costs.

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