New further education funding system has cut colleges cash

8 Aug 02
Further education colleges are claiming they could face serious budget problems in the coming year because of changes in the way that money is allocated from the standards fund.

09 August 2002

According to an Association of Colleges survey, 72% of sixth-form and general FE colleges have so far been allocated less in 2002/03, with colleges losing an average of £65,000 compared with last year.

This is the first year that standards fund money has been allocated by one of 47 local Learning and Skills Councils, which are also responsible for supporting colleges following inspections.

Last year, the money was distributed by the national LSC.

The survey, published on August 1, found that, at present, colleges expect to receive an average of £190,504 from the standards fund this year compared with £255,099 in 2001/02.

John Brennan, the AoC's director of funding and development, said most colleges depend on the standards fund to improve services to students and ensure staff have access to training and development. 'At the local level, these cuts obviously make it hard for colleges to forward plan with security,' he added.

An LSC spokesman disputed the AoC figures, which were based on a sample of 170 colleges.


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