I have been contacted by a number of constituents regarding how post-16 education is being supported through the coronavirus outbreak. I am passionate about education and it is an important part of my vision for Broxtowe. Therefore, I am grateful to be contacted about such an important issue.
I understand that teachers and students will be concerned about the impact that coronavirus is having on further education (FE). It is important that the sector emerges in a strong position, as we will rely on FE to teach the skills our economy will need to fully recover.
After being contacted by a number of constituents regarding this very important matter I raised this issue with the Secretary of State for Education. I asked 'what steps his Department is taking to ensure that (a) further education colleges and (b) sixth forms are supported during the covid-19 outbreak'.
The response I received from the Department is as follows:
I am very grateful for how sixth forms and FE colleges have responded to the unique challenge of COVID-19.
We have confirmed that the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will continue to pay grant funded providers their scheduled monthly profiled payments for the remainder of the 2019/20 funding year. Allocations for 2020/21 have also now been confirmed and payments will be made as scheduled. Up to date details are contained in operational guidance available at:
For colleges in significant financial difficulties, the existing support arrangements remain in place, including short-term emergency funding.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has also announced a series of wider measures to support employers and employees, recognising the significant impacts caused by COVID-19. We have confirmed that FE providers can apply to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for non-grant-funded employees. The CJRS has been extended until August 2020. Up-to-date details of this support are available at:
As announced last summer, we will next year be increasing investment in education and training of 16-19-year-olds by £400 million, including an increased base rate, and more funding for high cost and high-value subjects, which will help the sector to deliver in the difficult circumstances we are facing during the pandemic. In March, we also announced an investment of £1.5 billion over five years in capital spending for further education colleges.
For sixth forms, our priority is to ensure that Year 13 students can progress as planned, including starting university, moving into apprenticeships or securing a job, and to support Year 12 students to prepare for examinations the following year.