Further Education: Finance

Department for Education written question – answered on 6 September 2023.

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Photo of Bridget Phillipson Bridget Phillipson Shadow Secretary of State for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the total underspend was in the 16-19 education budget for financial 2022-23; and if she will set out the value of underspends in that budget in each of the previous four financial years.

Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Minister of State (Education)

The 2019 and 2020 Spending Review settlements were based, in part, on the forecast of student numbers at that time. Similarly, the 2021 settlement was based on the number of students expected to be in 16 to 19 education in the 2022/23, 2023/24 and 2024/25 academic years.

The department bases allocations on lagged student numbers, which gives an appropriate allocation for each provider for the current year. We therefore fund the estimated number of students in the system each year, whether that be higher or lower than the number forecast, rather than allocate a defined budget.

All funding allocations are published, and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/16-to-19-education-funding-allocations#published-allocations.

The department also publishes annual expenditure in the consolidated annual report and accounts, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/dfe-annual-reports.

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