ASCL response to EPI report on sixth form and college funding

13 May 2019

Commenting on the report of the Education Policy Institute (EPI) about the decline in sixth form and college funding, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“Even for a government with such a terrible record on education funding in general, its neglect of sixth forms and colleges has been particularly egregious. Despite the fact that this phase of education is obviously vital to the life chances of young people, sixth forms and colleges have been starved of the funding they need and students deserve.

“The basic level of funding for 16-18 year olds is just £4,000 per year. To put this into perspective, this compares to university tuition fees of up to £9,250 in the next phase of education. There is no rhyme or reason for this vast difference.

“This situation has resulted in unavoidable cuts to courses and student support services. Subjects with smaller uptakes such as modern foreign languages and creative arts subjects are increasingly unsustainable.

“The government will doubtlessly say that the level of funding for sixth forms and colleges will be considered as part of the forthcoming spending review. However, it has already put off action about this crisis for far too long and it needs to act now to reverse the damage it has done.”