House of Commons Library

16 to 19 Education Funding

Published Wednesday, September 6, 2017

This House of Commons Library debate pack briefing provides information and material in anticipation of the debate, entitled “16-19 Education Funding” and sponsored by Mr Nic Dakin, which will take place on Thursday 7th September at 3.00pm in Westminster Hall.

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16-19 education in England is delivered by a range of providers including: schools, sixth form colleges, further education colleges, charitable and private providers; most 16-19 year olds study in FE and sixth form colleges.

Funding is allocated by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and, since 2013/14, is a process which has used a national funding formula based on learner numbers and other factors such as programme costs and area costs. The national funding rate per student is £4,000 per year for 16 and 17 year olds and drops to £3,300 for 18 and 19 year olds.

It has felt the impact of a number of policy reforms.  Along with general FE funding 16-19 funding has experienced a squeezed for the last few years. Partly in response to concerns by the sector it was announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015 that the funding for 16-19 year olds would be protected in cash terms at the current national base rate of £4,000 for the rest of that Parliament.

16-19 providers have experienced funding changes from a range of issues: the implementation of the national funding forumla, the reduction in funding for 18 and 19, and the introducion of compulsory post-16 English and maths for students who did not pass these subjects at age 16.  The sector is also experiencing a demographic drop in the number of 16-18 year olds which has possibly led to an under-spend in the 16-19 budget.  Future changes such as the introduction of the new T levels could also have an impact on some providers as resources are put into these new qualifications.

Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0156

Authors: Andrew Mackley; Susan Hubble; Paul Bolton

Topic: Further education

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