To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the effects on attainment of the reduction to entitlement funding for sixth form providers.
The announcement on funding for the 2011/12 academic year, which included how entitlement funding was changing, was made in December 2010 in the then YPLA's 16-19 Funding Statement.
At the time of the spending review announcement in October 2010 we made clear the need to make unit costs savings in relation to.16-19 education and training, due to the difficult economic and financial position of the country. The priority for the Department for 16-19 funding is to protect the core education programmes offered by schools and colleges. These core programmes equip young people with the knowledge and skills they need and are fundamental to students' successful progression into higher education or employment. We therefore made savings elsewhere, including by reducing the “Curriculum 2000” entitlement allocation from 114 teaching hours to 30 hours, as that would be less likely to impact on attainment.
Since this change came into effect only for the current academic year, it is too early for the Department to have any attainment data for courses undertaken since the funding was altered. However, it will be very difficult to separate out from other factors changes in achievement linked to changes in entitlement funding.