Skip to main content

Further Education Funding and Accountability: Consultation

Volume 718: debated on Thursday 21 July 2022

Today, as the Government continue to build back better from the pandemic and begin the critical work of levelling up the UK, I am announcing further steps towards delivering the ambitious reforms set out in the Skills for Jobs White Paper. Skills for Jobs set out our vision for a skills system that supports people to access the skills required and to get the jobs our economy needs, increasing productivity, supporting growth industries, and giving people opportunity.

We are launching a second consultation today, containing proposals for implementing a new further education funding and accountability system in England to help deliver on this vision. The consultation is open from 21 July 2022 until 21 September 2022.

In this consultation, we want to hear from all interested stakeholders and welcome responses to the consultation from individual learners, providers (especially colleges), employers, representative bodies, local government partners and MCAs.

Our reforms are about changing the incentives in the further education (FE) system by focusing on employment outcomes and simplifying the funding system so we can best support learners into high-value jobs. These reforms will:

Deliver a simpler and more effective funding system, to make it easier for providers to invest in the best way possible to achieve good outcomes for their learners.

Deliver a fairer system by moving towards a more equitable approach to funding areas in the next spending review, and in the meantime, exploring how our available resources can support those areas most in need to support levelling up and spread opportunity across England.

Finally, we want to create and deliver a system that is focused on outcomes. We will use the funding system to encourage providers to offer courses that lead to better outcomes for the local and national economy and society, while holding providers accountable for delivering for their learners.

This will enable providers to ensure that they are meeting the needs of their learners, employers, and the wider area, putting taxpayer investment to the best effect.

Subject to the responses to the consultation, we intend to introduce our reforms from the academic year 2023-24, with further reforms coming in the next spending review.

This is a key milestone in the delivery of our Skills for Jobs reform programme, which will transform the whole skills system so that we can train the dynamic and flexible workforce our economy needs.