A funding dip for sixth-formers “could stymie” teachers’ efforts to cultivate talent, post-16 education experts have warned the education secretary. This is from the BBC…
In a letter, associations representing schools and colleges have asked Michael Gove to redress a growing funding gap.
On average, sixth formers attract almost £1,000 less funding each year than younger pupils, says the group.
The government said it was spending £7.5bn on education and training for 16-19-year-olds this year.
The letter warns the disparity will cause “significant and adverse consequences for 16-19 education”.
The government’s next comprehensive spending review “should re-evaluate the resources needed for a good education for all 16-19 year olds in state education”, it urges.
The group draws on Department for Education figures which show that in 2011-12 the median funding for each secondary pupil was £5,620 compared with £4,645 for each sixth former.
During the same year the average fee per university student was £8,414 according to an estimate from the Office for Fair Access (Offa) which monitors fairness in university admissions.
The group describes this as “a growing and unwelcome anomaly… threatening the economic benefits that good 16-19 education brings.”
They add that there is no funding gap in the independent sector, where figures suggest that schools charge higher day fees for sixth formers than for under-16s.
A briefing paper attached to the letter suggests that a slide in 16-19 funding, which began three years ago, is due to worsen with a further fall of 3% next year and more cuts planned after 2015.