The question we should be asking is: what will be the cost of these cuts? People will be getting lower-paid, lower-skilled jobs and drawing down on the state for longer periods of time.
There is excellent sixth-form provision in Greater Manchester, my own area, which is currently undergoing an area review. Winstanley College in Wigan and Loreto College in Manchester provide some of the best value-added in the country, and they outperform schools in getting kids from all backgrounds the highest grades in A-levels. I am sure that Conservative Members would be appalled to think their local sixth-form colleges could be under threat, but this is the reality in other parts of the country. Further massive reductions in funding will result in good sixth-form colleges and good school sixth forms closing. The 25% cut that the Chancellor has asked the Secretary of State’s Department to find is equivalent to the loss of half of all sixth-form colleges and one third of FE colleges.