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LSC issues guidance on new funding arrangements for school sixth forms

The Learning and Skills Council has today (Thursday 6 September) issued guidance to schools on the new funding arrangements for their sixth forms for 2003-03, which has been welcomed by The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) and The Local Government Association (LGA).

In line with the government's objective to create a more coherent funding system for post-16 learning, the Learning and Skills Council will take on responsibility for funding school sixth forms in England from April 2002. In preparation for its new role, the Council has issued guidance on the new arrangements for school sixth forms.

John Harwood, Chief Executive of the Learning and Skills Council, said: "The Council recognises and highly values the excellence of the contribution that school sixth forms make to the education of the country's 16 to 18 year-old learners and we are firmly committed to supporting good quality education in school sixth forms.

"In preparing for its new role, one of the key objectives is to maintain funding stability for schools. That is why Ministers have given schools a guarantee that their funding for their sixth forms will be protected in real terms provided that sixth form pupil numbers do not fall. Schools will continue to receive all their funding - including the Council's allocation for their sixth forms - from the Local Education Authorities (LEAs) without new burdensome audit arrangements. They will be able to use the money as they think most appropriate - just as they do now."

Mr Harwood added: "One of our key goals is to raise the educational achievement of our young people. Local Learning and Skills Councils are looking forward to working in partnership with schools and Local Education Authorities (LEAs) to achieve our corporate goals of:

  • raising the proportion of 16 to 18 year olds in education, learning and training from 75.8 per cent to 80 per cent by 2004; and

  • raising the number of young people who gain a level 2 qualification by the time they are 19 years old from 75 per cent to 85 per cent by 2004.

Commenting on the new funding arrangements for school sixth forms, David Hart, General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), said: "The new funding arrangements should go a long way to reassure head teachers that the money needed to support school sixth forms in general, and the delivery of the post 16 curriculum in particular, will actually reach their budgets."

Neil Fletcher, Head of Education at the Local Government Association (LGA), commenting on the publication, said: "We welcome the timely publication of the guidance, which is clear and well-written. We hope that head teachers will find it easy to understand.

"The LGA has worked closely with the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) to ensure that schools and Local Education Authorities are given early notification of the new funding arrangements for school sixth forms. It is in everyone's interest that there is a smooth transfer of resources and that the new arrangements are understood."

September 2001




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