Further education heads claim to have suffered cuts averaging £65,000 per college, despite government assertions that their funding has improved. The Association of Colleges said a survey of its members revealed that a fund earmarked to help raise standards in FE has been reduced by 25 per cent overall.
The survey found that 72 per cent of colleges that had been notified of their allocation from the standards fund, worth a total £179 million for 2002-03, were getting less than in the previous year. The average allocation, the AoC said, was worth 76 per cent of that for 2001-02, with the mean dropping from £255,099 to £190,504.
The shortfall was largely due to funds being held back by the learning and skills councils to cover the cost of helping colleges tackle problems identified in inspections, and for national initiatives such as improving basic skills training.