Press release

New capital funding for sixth-form colleges

Lord Hill announces a £90 million funding package to help address building needs and meet demand for additional student places.

Sixth-form colleges in England will receive much needed investment as Schools Minister Lord Hill today announces a £90 million package of funding. The money will enable sixth-form colleges to make essential improvements to buildings and will help those schools and academies with sixth forms to meet the demand for additional 16-19 student places.

The funding package for 2011-12 includes:

  • £57.4 million to address priority building condition needs of the sixth-form college estate
  • £30 million for basic need funding for 16-19 student places to help sixth-form colleges, schools and academies meet the demands of demographic changes
  • making all sixth-form colleges eligible for Devolved Formula Capital for the first time - funding for maintenance will be given directly to the institution. This means the average sixth-form college will receive an additional £40,000.

Announcing the funding package, Schools Minister Lord Hill said:

I know that there are sixth-form colleges with building needs which have missed out on previous capital programmes. I have therefore allocated more than £57 million to address priority building condition needs within the sixth-form college sector.

Even where funding is tight, it is essential that buildings and equipment are properly maintained to ensure that health and safety standards are met, and to prevent a backlog of decay building up which is very expensive to address. I am therefore also pleased to announce that in 2011-12 all sixth-form colleges will become eligible for Devolved Formula Capital. The average allocation to a sixth-form college will be in the region of £40,000. This funding is primarily for planned maintenance and is in addition to the £57 million for building condition needs.

This Government is committed to ensuring that all young people have the opportunity to continue in education and training after the age of 16. I therefore want to ensure that funding is available to meet the need for additional places where there are demographic pressures in schools, academies and sixth-form colleges. £30 million will be made available in the coming financial year for basic need funding for 16-19 student places in these institutions.

David Igoe, Chief Executive of the Sixth-form Colleges Forum, said:

Sixth-form colleges will warmly welcome this announcement of capital allocations for 2011-12. These allocations will enable them to undertake essential maintenance and refurbishment with some new building also possible. This will greatly enhance sixth-form colleges’ ability to sustain high-quality education in these challenging times. Sixth-form colleges have missed out on capital over the last two years and it is very encouraging to see the Government redressing this unfairness.

The Government has been clear about the central role that sixth-form colleges play in the education system. That is why we are reducing red tape and giving them more freedom. As previously announced, the Department is ending the routine Ofsted inspections of sixth-form colleges rated outstanding and is simplifying the 16-19 funding allocations process to schools and colleges.

Notes to editors

  1. Capital funding to address priority building condition needs and to meet the demand for additional student places will be allocated through the YPLA. The YPLA is currently working on the criteria and process for distributing the funding. We expect to be able to make further details available shortly so that schools, academies and sixth-form colleges can access funds as soon as possible in the new financial year. The YPLA will consult with the sector as they develop the detail of the allocations process.

  2. Sixth-form colleges will be eligible for Devolved Formula Capital at a rate of £4000 per college plus £22.50 per student.

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