Overall investment in the post-16 further education sector has increased significantly—by 53 per cent. in real terms between 1997 and 2008. Chelmsford college's overall LSC funding has increased by 3.7 per cent. compared with the previous year.
Following a consultation in January 2007 and subsequent work through LSC advisory groups, changes were made to the way additional learning support was calculated for 2008/09. These changes were introduced to ensure that the funding was better focused on need rather than purely on an historical basis.
ALS now has a funding formula that has two levels, low cost and high cost. For learners aged 16-18, low cost claims—that is, those under £5,500—will be allocated using the learners' GCSE English and Maths points profile from the college's previous year's cohort.
For learners over the age of 19, low level claims are based on the level of qualification being studied.
To allow for transitional arrangements for ALS, and to minimise the impact on colleges' budgets, 60 per cent. of the low cost ALS has been distributed using the formula approach in 2008/09. The remaining 40 per cent. has been allocated on the basis of the historical proportion of the budget. The intention is to move to 75 per cent. (formula)/ 25 per cent. (allocation) in 2009/10.