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Further Education Colleges

Education and Skills written question – answered on 13th May 2002.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the effectiveness of the outcomes of imposing efficiency targets on further education colleges since 1997.

Photo of Margaret Hodge Margaret Hodge Minister of State (Education and Skills) (Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education)

The Government has sought to improve the efficiency of further education since 1997 and colleges have delivered real improvements in value for money. Since 1996–97 the participation funding for each full-time equivalent (FTE) student has remained constant in real terms, while total funding for each FTE student has increased by 12 per cent. in real terms (reflecting the additional funds targeted on much needed capital developments, standards and teachers pay). Over the same period colleges have widened participation among learners, broadened programmes of study for 16–19- year-olds and increased basic skills provision. Qualification success rates for long (24 weeks or over) qualifications have increased from 51 per cent. in 1996–97 to 56 per cent. in 1999–2000 (the latest year available). When shorter courses are also taken into account, qualification success rates have increased from 56 per cent. in 1996–97 to 60 per cent. in 1999–2000. The Government recognises that investment is important for raising standards further and will set out future funding plans for colleges as part of the Spending Review outcome.

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