Skip to main content

AoC responds to IFS' annual report on education spending in England

11 December 2023

IFS funding

Julian Gravatt, deputy chief executive, Association of Colleges said:

"Despite the Government’s decision to invest in further education, the IFS has confirmed today that funding for 16 to 18-year-olds is below levels from 15 years ago. The report also highlights that the proportion of 18-year-olds not in education, employment or training (NEET) is at a 15-year high, steep declines in the number of adult learners and public funding levels, and a 16% fall in the number of apprentices since 2016.

“Although spending on 16-18 education and adult skills increased in 2021, the report clearly explains that inflation has eaten into the value of the funds available, and enrolments have fallen short of expectations because young people have dropped out of education.

“Colleges cannot keep doing more with less, and across the country they are living with the consequences of consistent funding reduction over the past decade. The FE sector delivers high-quality post-16 education and training for millions of learners, and has a key role to play in growing the economy and meeting the priorities set out by both the Government and the Labour party.

"This IFS report reinforces what we already know: that much more funding is desperately needed for colleges to fulfil their potential.”

Read the full report here.