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."