A-levels choice ‘reduced by funding squeeze’

The BBC is reporting that funding pressures mean pupils at sixth-form colleges in England must choose from an increasingly narrow range of A-level subjects, a study has found.

The Sixth Form Colleges Association’s annual survey suggests two-thirds of colleges have had to drop courses. Over half (58%) have also reduced or removed extra-curricular activities such as music, drama and sport.

The SFCA sent its annual questionnaire to all 90 sixth form colleges in England in September, and 80 responded. 

The findings indicate:

  • Over a third of colleges (39%) have dropped courses in modern foreign languages, with A-levels in German, French and Italian being the main casualties
  • 84% of colleges are teaching students in larger class sizes
  • Nearly two-thirds of sixth form colleges (64%) say the amount of funding they will receive next year will not be sufficient to offer the support needed for disadvantaged students 
  • 90% of colleges are either extremely concerned or concerned about the financial health of their institution

The SFCA report expresses concern that non-qualification and extra-curricular activities are being reduced or removed. 

It says: “Enrichment activities such as educational visits, sport and the Duke of Edinburgh award play a vital role in developing the skills that are valued by universities and employers and help sixth form students to become engaged and active citizens.”

More at: A-levels choice ‘reduced by funding squeeze’

Have you found that the funding cuts have had to cause sixth-form colleges to reduce their causes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie

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