Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, has attacked the Government as new figures have revealed there is a multi-million pound underspend in the budget for Sixth Form colleges.
Three cuts to sixth form funding since 2011, combined with ongoing cost increases have had a negative impact on the education of students in schools and colleges. However, we now know from the response to recent parliamentary questions that there was a £135 million underspend in the 16-19 education budget in the 2014-15 financial year, a £132 million underspend in the 2015-16 financial year, and a £106 million underspend in the 2016-17 financial year.
Across Tameside and Stockport higher education institutions will be hit hard; Audenshaw School (Sixth Form) has already lost £48,051 in forced underspending between 2014-17, whilst Moat House (Stockport’s educational provision for pregnant and teenage mothers) has lost £3,122 in forced underspending during the same period.
The Support Our Sixth Formers Campaign is a national campaign calling on the government to introduce a £200 per student uplift in funding for sixth form education. This £200 uplift could be partly funded through the underspend.
For more information on the S.O.S (Save our Sixth Form) campaign, please visit the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) website: https://www.sixthformcolleges.org/sites/default/files/Support%20Our%20Sixth%20Formers%20Manifesto.pdf
Andrew Gwynne said:
“I back this campaign as higher education sixth form colleges should not have to stomach further budgetary pressures on top of those they have already absorbed since 2010.
“The Chancellor has an opportunity at next week’s Budget to commit to uplifting student spending by £200 per head in line with this campaign, I hope he takes it.”
 Data fom the 16-19 funding allocations published annually by the Education and Skills Funding Agency: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/16-to-19-education-funding-allocations