Sixth forms set to suffer, but spending on schools is safe

Marion Dakers
SIXTH forms and further education colleges face stark cuts, though schools have been granted a real term budget rise, the coalition confirmed yesterday.

The education maintenance grant, introduced by Labour to encourage 16 to 19 year olds to remain in education, will be scrapped to save £500m. Chancellor George Osborne said it would be replaced with targeted support for the less well-off, and that schools will receive a 0.1 per cent increase in spending in real terms throughout the five-year parliament.

The Department of Education must find savings worth three per cent of its overall budget.

The Association of Colleges said the news was “not as dire as we expected” but noted that further education colleges have already made savings and now face another 25 per cent budget cut. Andy Burnham, shadow education secretary, said protection of the schools budget was a “complete con” as spending per student will fall as the number of young people increases.