College costs vetted

9th August 1996 at 01:00
Further education funding chiefs are urging ministers to reconsider an analysis of 16-19 education which suggests schools are as cost-effective as colleges.

Figures published by the Department for Education and Employment have caused uproar among colleges. They claim the calculations make colleges seem more expensive than they really are.

Now the Further Education Funding Council has also challenged the study. In a circular to colleges this week, the FEFC says the DFEE has corrected some "misinterpretations" since it put out provisional figures last December, but says there are still some "differences of view".

The circular also sets out a timetable for a wholesale review of further education funding. The review will include two stages.

First, a working group will issue a consultation document by next Christmas. Then, another group will make proposals and consult institutions. Final guidance on any changes will be issued by Christmas 1997.

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