The Chancellor of the Exchequer has set the Autumn Budget date for Monday 29 October 2018. This is earlier than normal and on a Monday. The Treasury's autumn fiscal event is normally in November and is normally on a Wednesday but he told a select committee earlier this month that he wanted to avoid November's Brexit summits. It also looks like he wanted to avoid Halloween.
HM Treasury's deadline for submissions from organisations and the public is today (Friday 28 September 2018). AoC has sent in a paper which makes a detailed case for action on college funding. The first part of the document explains the bigger challenges and changes that the government needs to make in next year's 2019 Spending Review. The second half of the document sets out ten areas that the government should take action between now and Christmas. AoC's Budget paper is here
A short powerpoint presentation summarising the paper is here
The 2019 spending review is an opportunity for HM Treasury, DfE and other government departments to tackle some big economic and social challenges via a fresh approach to education spending for the period from 2020-21 onwards. As we explain in the first half of this paper, a number of actions are essential if we are to raise achievement, narrow educational gaps and improve productivity. These include:
- an education spending target
- higher 16-to-18 funding per student (increased by 5% a year for 5 years)
- a new target for every citizen to be able to reach Level 3
- a new higher technical offer
- a national retraining scheme
- a new approach to supporting institutions
- an education workforce strategy
In addition to the longer-term issues set out above, there a number of issues that cannot wait until the 2020 and where HM Treasury and DfE should act now. The first two items, relating to pay and pensions, are the most important but all the issues in the list should and could be addressed:
- extend the Teacher Pay Grant to colleges so that the 16-to-18 funding rate rises to £4,050 in 2019
- provide a Teacher Pensions Grant to cover the exceptional increase in the employer contribution rate
- maintain adult education budget spending at £1.5 billion in the 2018-19 financial year
- guarantee the training budget for appprentices in small companies
- set up a Higher Technical Education Development Fund
- provide capital grants for technical equipment in spring 2019
- standardise the ESFA payment profile to colleges
- extend the restructuring facility for a year
Colleges Week (Monday 15 to Friday 19 October 2018)
Colleges and college staff transform lives – they help people make the most of their talents and ambitions and drive social mobility; they help businesses improve productivity and drive economic growth; they are rooted in and committed to their communities and drive tolerance and well-being. They are an essential part of England’s education system.
Colleges Week is an opportunity to highlight the brilliant work that goes on, and the brilliant staff that make it all possible. Colleges Week is our opportunity to call on government for better investment in colleges, and fair pay for college staff.