The Independent is reporting that funding for sixth forms and further education colleges in England has been slashed by almost 16 per cent since the start of the decade, a new report says.
Money received for every enrolled student has been cut, in real terms, from £5,900 to just £4,960, according to data published by the Education Policy Institute on Monday.
The dramatic fall is twice the rate by which the overall schools budget has been reduced, the left of centre think tank claimed.
Among other findings were that almost one-quarter of local authority schools with sixth forms had cumulative deficits, and that contact hours – when students have access to teachers – had decreased by 9 per cent between 2012/13 and 2016/17.
The report also states that average teacher wages in the sector had fallen from £33,600 to £31,000 between 2010-11 and 2016-17.
“Education for 16- to 19-year-olds has experienced the sharpest cuts to real funding over the last decade, compared to the early years, primary, secondary and higher education phases,” it said.
Commenting on the findings, David Laws, the EPI’s executive chairman, said: “It is not clear why successive governments have chosen to squeeze 16-19 funding, and there is a strong case for reviewing the adequacy of funding before the upcoming spending review.”
A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “We recognise that 16-19 funding rates are challenging for all providers at the moment and are looking carefully at this in the run-up to the next spending review. “
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