Sheffield College principal welcomes government announcement to provide extra funding for colleges and sixth forms

The Government’s decision to put £400 million of extra funding towards training young people has been welcomed by The Sheffield College’s principal – but she says there is ‘still more work to do’.

Monday, 2nd September 2019, 3:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 5:06 pm
Angela Foulkes, Chief Executive and Principal during the Love Our Colleges campaign at Sheffield College

Angela Foulkes said the announcement was a 'welcome start' towards fairer funding for Further Education colleges, adding they have been overlooked and under-resourced for 'too long'.

She said: “The Love Our Colleges campaign, backed by FE colleges nationally including The Sheffield College and calling for fairer funding, is beginning to pay off.

“There is still more work to do to reverse the long term lack of investment in FE colleges during the last decade and, while the £400 million goes some way to addressing that, significantly more funding and long-term thinking is needed to provide stability to the sector.

“Our sector has been campaigning for a raise in the funding rate for 16-to-18-year-olds from £4,000 to £5,000. The Chancellor’s announcement will likely result in a four to five per cent increase at the moment for one year only, and is only £190 million of the additional cost of £450 million that we are campaigning for."

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Ms Foulkes also called for a £250 million increase in the adult education budget to support retraining, improve skills and develop lifelong learning.

"We are also asking the government to address the decade-long lack of investment by committing to a one-off injection of £1,114 million in revenue and £240 million in capital," she added.

“Ultimately, FE colleges want to see the start of a ten-year education funding plan to provide long term stability so that we continue to transform lives, equip our students with the skills and qualifications to go further in their careers, support employers and the local economy and enhance social mobility.”

Chancellor Sajid Javid made the announcement last week, in which he outlined a need to protect and increase the base rate of funding, worth £190 million, along with £120 million of additional money for colleges and sixth forms to help deliver crucial subjects such as engineering.

In the announcement, which forms part of the Spending Round covering the 2020-21 financial year, Mr Javid promised £35 million for targeted interventions to help students on level three courses, which is equivalent to an A-Level, to re-sit their exams if they failed GCSE maths and English.

The money will be shared across 257 colleges in England, as well as other further education providers.

They will also receive an extra £25 million to deliver T-Levels, the new qualification which will roll out from September next year and will change vocational education with two-year courses in subjects such as accounting and digital production.

The advanced maths premium, which adds £600 to college budgets for every additional student who takes on A and AS Level maths, will receive £10 million of additional funding.

And a new £20 million investment will help the sector to recruit and retain teachers and leaders, and provide more support to ensure high-quality teaching of T-Levels.