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Sixth-form Colleges (Funding)

Volume 584: debated on Monday 21 July 2014

9. What assessment she has made of the effect on admission numbers for sixth-form colleges of funding changes since 2010. (904956)

In case it was not clear the first time, let me explain that despite a fall in the population of 16 to 19-year-olds, sixth-form colleges have been allocated 2% more places in 2014-15 than in 2010-11.

My question is different from the one that the Minister answered earlier, so it would be helpful if he addressed himself to it specifically. The Sixth Form Colleges Association tells us that £100 million has been taken out of sixth-form colleges since 2010, and we have also heard about the disparity they face in connection with VAT. Why are this Government treating sixth-form colleges so badly?

I do not want to be pernickety, but the hon. Gentleman’s question reads as follows:

“What assessment she has made of the effect on admissions numbers for sixth-form colleges of funding changes”.

The answer is that the funding changes have produced an increase in admission numbers to sixth-form colleges.

May I ask the Minister to turn his mind from the general to the specific—namely, City College Coventry, which trains about 50% of 16 to 18-year-olds in Coventry and which, for the year 2015, is receiving an 18% cut? Will he look at that specifically and perhaps come with me to visit the college?

I would be happy to look at the particular financial situation of the college in the hon. Gentleman’s constituency and to see how the damping mechanism that is in place is working in that case.