The point is equity, not subsidy

7th November 1997 at 00:00
A TES article (FE Focus, October 24) doubted whether a more realistic London weighting for FE colleges would bring this college or similar institutions to a national average funding level.

But no one ever claimed that it should. The argument is about equity, not subsidy. Until now, there has been no way to know whether the funding level for individual colleges was right or wrong, because the costs of, for example, working with disadvantaged client groups or in London were not acknowledged in the funding methodology. As a result, FE's convergence debate got bogged down in arguments about regional and social costs. Now there is a prospect of appropriate weightings, all colleges can go forward together.

One last point: for most metropolitan colleges, the effect of a new weighting will only be to reduce somewhat the level of future cuts.

ADRIAN PERRY

Principal Lambeth College, London SW4

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