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Sixth Form Colleges

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent representations he has received on the adequacy of public funding to support pay increases in sixth form colleges; and if he will make a statement. [131001]

On 1 September I met with sixth form college employers' and union representatives to discuss funding for sixth form colleges. The outcome of the Spending Review 2002 provides a good settlement for the FE sector. In 2003–04 assumed total funding for further education allocated to the Learning and Skills Council has increased by 6 per cent. in real terms compared with 2002–03. The funding allocated to the Learning and Skills Council also assumes there will be year on year real terms increases in total funding for further education of 7 per cent. in 2004–05 and 5 per cent. in 2005–06. Sixth form colleges are independent organisations. It is for them to determine the level of pay increases for their staff in negotiation with the trade unions within the resources available.