IFS publish 'Further Education and sixth form spending in England' - AoC responds

18 Aug 2021

Responding to the IFS report on Further Education and sixth form spending in England, Chief Executive of Association of Colleges, David Hughes said: 

“Today’s report from IFS echoes our own recent report - Forecasting 16 to 18 education growth to 2030 - which clearly showed how demographic growth will need significant funding if every young person is to have the education they deserve. IFS estimate that government needs to spend an additional £570 million on 16-18 education just to keep up with the rising population of young people, the rising numbers staying in education to 18 and inflation. It is baffling that DfE does not publish official annual data on this and the risk is that the increase in numbers will not be factored into spending plans going forward. 

The lagged funding methodology makes it increasingly difficult for colleges to cater to every student during times of population growth and even more so when there are also reduced opportunities in the labour market and on apprenticeships. There is an urgent need for DfE to guarantee full funding for every student recruited by schools and colleges this autumn, much the same way they do for universities as well as seek a commitment in the spending review to a longer-term revenue and capital budget that anticipates demographic trends.”