ASCL welcomes the letter from Gillian Keegan, MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Apprenticeships and Skills to Further Education leaders
on 23 March. The letter helpfully sets out some of the measures for funding further education and skills during Covid-19. We particularly welcome the statement from the government that scheduled 16-19 and AEB monthly payments will continue to be made by the ESFA for the remainder of the academic year and that 2020/2021 funding allocations will be confirmed by the end of March.
However, colleges are complex organisations and they operate on a variety of funding streams. The letter from Gillian Keegan states that for other funding streams “ existing rules and models may need to be modified”. In this time of uncertainty for everyone amid funding concerns for most colleges, this lack of clarity about other funding streams is a concern. Until the government confirms that all funding streams will be treated the same, colleges are concerned that some payments for example, for some high needs learners, may be modified and that previously planned apprenticeship funding may be remodelled during the current year and for next year.
ASCL will work with our partners, including the AoC and other unions to press Government to clarify all of the further education funding rules so that previously planned funding is not compromised now or in the following year.
Further information and guidance for schools and colleges relating to the coronavirus outbreak can be found on our Coronavirus: essential information