The Spending Review
The Government’s Spending Review on 25 November brought largely good news for the education and skills sector, with fears of big cuts not being realised.
It looks as though the hard work and the lobbying of the sector has paid off, with the Government investing in attracting new teachers, a cash terms protection of 16 to 19 year old funding, and sixth form colleges being offered the opportunity to become academies.
Please see below an outline of announcements relating to the skills and education sector:
- The core schools budget and pupil premium will be protected in real terms with an additional £390 million of funding available to the least funded areas in 2015-16.
- Funding for universal infant free school meals will be maintained.
- First ever national funding formula for schools, high needs and early years to be introduced in 2017-18 to ensure funding is transparent and linked to children’s needs.
- £23 billion to be invested in school buildings and the creation of 500 new free schools.
- All schools to become academies to end role of local authorities in schools.
- Investment of £1.3 billion to attract new teachers, particularly in STEM areas.
- Department for Business, Innovation & Skills’ budget to be reduced by 17%.
- Cash terms protection of the current national base rate per student for 16 to 19 year olds in school sixth forms, sixth form colleges and further education colleges in England.
- Sixth form colleges will have the opportunity to become academies, which will allow them to recover their non-business VAT costs. They will also have the opportunity to join multi-academy trusts to improve efficiency and further collaboration between schools and sixth form colleges.
- Commitment to 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020.
- £1.5 billion cash terms protected funding for core adult skills participation budgets.
- Creation of five national colleges and support for a network of Institutes of Technology across the country. They expect 21,000 students to be trained by National Colleges by 2020.
- Tuition fee loans to be expanded for 19 to 23 year olds studying at Level 3 and Level 4, and 19+ year olds at Level 5 and Level 6.
D2N2, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire areas, will also receive £1.25 million to develop a growth strategy for the proposed High Speed 2 station at Toton as part of the Midlands Engine.
Please click here to view the full Spending Review and Autumn Statement on the government website.