Post-16 funding: An extra £570m needed just to tread water

The unprecedented rise in student numbers caused by the pandemic combined with a decade of real-terms cuts to funding has left sixth forms and colleges needing an additional £570m just to tread water.

An additional £570m will be needed by 2022/23 just to maintain in real terms the current low levels of per-student funding, a new report concludes.

The pandemic has led to a record 85 per cent of 16 and 17-year-olds staying in full-time education, with 68 per cent opting to study for A levels or equivalent – up by three percentage points on 2020 alone.

Meanwhile, Apprenticeships have been hit bard, with only three per cent of 16 and 17-year-olds taking them in 2020 – the lowest level since the 1980s.

And judging by the jump in GCSE results this year, this pattern can be expected to continue.

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