School sixth form and college funding most severely squeezed, new report says

The Independent is reporting that funding for students in school sixth forms and colleges in England has been severely squeezed over the last eight years, a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has found.

Courses have been closed, student support has been cut, and teaching provision has reduced as a result of the real-terms cuts to further education, education unions have warned.

Analysis from IFS has revealed that funding per student in sixth forms has fallen by more than a fifth (21 per cent) per student since 2010-11 – and it remains lower than at any point since 2002-03.

It finds that funding for adult education has been cut by 45 per cent since 2009-10, which has mostly been delivered through fewer adult learners taking qualifications at GCSE level or below.

By 2019-20, funding per young person in further education will be at about the same level as in 2006-07 – only 10 per cent higher than it was thirty years ago.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: “Parents will be horrified to learn of the damage that has been done to sixth forms and colleges by severe real-terms cuts in government funding.”

Julian Gravatt, deputy chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “A decade of almost continuous cuts and constant attempts at reform has led to fewer adults in learning, less teaching hours for sixth-formers, and inevitably a growing population which is not acquiring the skills the country needs them to have to secure prosperity post-Brexit.”

Read more School sixth form and college funding most severely squeezed, new report says

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