Optimism over FE future

8th April 2011 at 01:00

"Colleges will go broke `sooner than you think'" (1 April) doesn't include comment from those who lead colleges. The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) collected financial data from colleges on 13 March, having ignored the Association of Colleges' advice to delay until the end of the month.

Since then, three funding agencies, including the SFA, have issued final funding allocations to colleges so that some of the estimates quoted by Geoff Russell are already out of date.

Colleges face massive budget challenges in 2011, but the sector is responsive and well-led. I am optimistic that the 25 per cent budget cut visited on the SFA will not translate into an equivalent cut to college income, since I believe ministers will make savings in central programmes (not least in the SFA's own costs).

I am also certain that colleges will secure money from other areas.

Julian Gravatt, assistant chief executive, Association of Colleges.

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