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House of Commons Hansard
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Ministerial Corrections
20 December 2016
Volume 618

Ministerial Corrections

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Education

Technical and Further Education Bill

The following is an extract from a speech by the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, the right hon. Member for Harlow (Robert Halfon), on Second Reading of the Technical and Further Education Bill on 14 November 2016.

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A lot has been said about FE funding, but by 2020 more will be spent on FE and skills participation than at any time in our island’s history—£3.4 billion in the year 2019-20. My hon. Friend the Member for Dover (Charlie Elphicke) correctly described FE as a ladder of opportunity for young people.—[Official Report, 14 November 2016, Vol. 617, c. 79.]

Letter of correction from Robert Halfon.

An error has been identified in my speech.

It should read:

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A lot has been said about FE funding, but by 2020 more will be spent on adult FE and skills participation than at any time in England’s history—£3.4 billion in the year 2019-20. My hon. Friend the Member for Dover (Charlie Elphicke) correctly described FE as a ladder of opportunity for young people.

Education provision: 16 to 19-Year-Olds

The following are extracts from Questions to the Secretary of State for Education on 14 November 2016:

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Winstanley College is one of the highest-performing sixth-form colleges in the country and won The Daily Telegraph’s Educate North college of the year award, but it estimates that by 2019 it will have seen a real-terms cut of 20% to its funding, which will fall to a level last seen in 2004. What measures is the Minister taking to ensure fair and equal funding for sixth-formers in England?

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It is good news about the performance of the hon. Lady’s college—I thank her for expressing it—but it is worth mentioning that we are investing £7 billion in 2016-17 to ensure that every 16 to 19-year-old has a place in education or training and that we have protected the funding base rate of £4,000 per student. It is also worth remembering that we have the lowest level of youth unemployment on record and the lowest number of those not in education, employment or training. This shows that our investment in further education is working.

[Official Report, 14 November 2016, Vol. 617, c. 16.]

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Over the next four years, funding for education is due to fall by 8% per head, although I note that Ministers have been describing this as “protecting” core funding, which is a funny use of language. So low is funding for sixth forms that schools that have formed academies are increasingly getting rid of their sixth forms because they are not profitable, thereby cutting off large numbers of opportunities for people, often in poorer areas.

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As I said, by 2020 we will be giving more funding to further education than at any time in our island’s history. It will have increased by 40%, which is something we should be proud of. Our investment is working. As I said, we have the lowest youth unemployment and the lowest number of NEETs on record. The hon. Lady should be celebrating that.

[Official Report, 14 November 2016, Vol. 617, c. 17.]

Letter of correction from Robert Halfon.

Errors have been identified in the responses I gave to the hon. Members for Makerfield (Yvonne Fovargue) and for Wallasey (Ms Eagle).

The correct responses should have been:

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It is good news about the performance of the hon. Lady’s college—I thank her for expressing it—but it is worth mentioning that we are investing £7 billion in 2016-17 to ensure that every 16 to 19-year-old has a place in education or training and that we have protected the funding base rate of £4,000 per student. It is also worth remembering that we have the lowest number of those not in education, employment or training. This shows that our investment in further education is working.

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As I said, by 2020 we will be giving more funding to adult further education than at any time in England’s history. It will have increased by 40%, which is something we should be proud of. Our investment is working. As I said, we have the lowest number of NEETs on record. The hon. Lady should be celebrating that.