Cash-strapped colleges ‘axing courses to save money’

Colleges and school sixth-forms are preparing to cut “less popular” A-level subjects such as foreign languages and further maths to plug a huge funding gap, head teachers’ leaders have warned. This is from the Telegraph…

Institutions educating 16- to 19-year-olds are also being forced to increase class sizes and cut back on extra-curricular activities because of concerns they can no longer afford to maintain provision at existing levels, they claim.

In a letter to Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, six organisations representing heads and college principals call on the Government to address a “growing disparity” in funding for teenagers’ education.

According to figures, schools received an average of £5,620 in annual funding to teach each GCSE pupil aged 14-to-16 in 2011/12.

But cash levels plummeted to an average of £4,645 for those educating sixth-formers because of an historical “anomaly” in the way funding is allocated by the state.

The group – which includes the Sixth Form Colleges Association, the Association of Colleges and the Association of School and College Leaders – say that funding will fall by three per cent in 2013/14 because of a squeeze on budgets.

Within three years, these institutions will receive just £4,400 per student, it is claimed.

Colleges are now seeking to make savings by reducing tutorial support for students, reduce course teaching time, reduce extra-curricular activities, increase class sizes and scrap “less popular” subjects such as languages, further maths and economics.

A survey by the Association of School and College Leaders has shown that eight-in-10 principals “will have to reduce the choice of courses offered to students”.

More at:  Cash-strapped colleges ‘axing courses to save money’

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