School sixth-forms hit by 23 per cent real-terms cut in per-student funding

The 16 to 19 education sector remains a “Cinderella service” with government funding continually failing to match its rhetoric on further education, it was claimed this week.

Funding per-student across 16 to 19 education has fallen dramatically since 2010, with school sixth forms seeing falls of as much as 23 per cent in real terms up until 2019/20. Further education and sixth form colleges have faced cuts of 12 per cent.

What is more, the £400m additional funding that colleges and sixth forms will receive this year looks set to be wiped out by “exceptional rises in student numbers”.

The warning comes from the annual education funding report of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). It finds that funding is lowest in school sixth forms and sixth-form colleges. In the 2019/20 academic year, funding per-student was £4,600 in sixth-form colleges, £5,000 in school sixth forms and £6,100 per in further education colleges.

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