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AoC's response to the Post-18 review

19 June 2019

The Prime Minister launched the Post-18 education and funding review at Derby College in February 2018. The review panel is chaired by Philip Augar and includes a college principal, Bev Robinson from Blackpool and Fylde College. This week AoC returned a response to the panel's for evidence. We believe that the review is a chance to make some long overdue improvements to the English higher and further education systems. Our response is here AoC Response - Post 18 review call for evidence - 2 May 2018 .docx AoC Response - Post 18 review call for evidence - 2 May 2018 .docx (DOCX,97.79 KB) Things work well for large numbers of young people who get good grades in their GCSEs and A-levels and who follow well-trodden routes via university into professional work but things don’t work as well as they used to. Today’s young people will work into their late 60s but generally complete their higher education by their early 20s and – if nothing changes – will never go back into education. They accumulate a student loan debt of £50,000 on the assumption that they’ll earn enough in the next two decades or so to pay it back. It’s a one-shot system which will be put under considerable pressure in the 2020s as the young adult population grows and the economy changes. Meanwhile the second big weakness of the English system is that an overwhelming amount of investment and attention is devoted to the interests and prospects of the top 50%. The route via A levels and university to the professions is not as golden as it once was but it glitters by comparison with what is on offer for the rest. The system withdraws funds and support fairly quickly, leaving young people with few chances to remedy mistakes. DfE funds sixth form education (“Key Stage 5”) at 20% less than it funds the GCSE years (Key Stage 4). Two years later, funding for 18-year-olds in further education is cut by another 17.5%. Financial support for education is withdrawn very quickly while funding for adult education at any level outside higher education is severely rationed. AoC is putting together a discussion paper which sets out these issues in more detail and explains why and where we think changes are needed. We will circulate this later in May 2018