Funding for each school sixth-form student this year ranges from pound;2,600 to pound;4,100, according to the latest figures from the Department for Education and Employment.
This puts them at a higher funding level than further education colleges, which earn on average pound;1,500 less per student.
But, as the DFEE map opposite shows, there is a sharp divide between winners and losers within the school system.
A swathe cutting through central England from Barnsley in the north to Bournemouth in the south has schools on as little as pound;2,068 er sixth-former. And yet pupils on identical courses in the more affluent areas of East Sussex and Shropshire, can bring in pound;4,107.
The local education authority average is pound;3,250, which means that just over four in 10 local authorities are above this. The losers, in particular, are seeking reassurances that, in the move to spread cash more fairly, they will not lose out on even more funding.
The DFEE consultation report, published in December, suggests that more cash and a fairer funding formula will benefit everyone.