College chiefs have welcomed the Further Education Funding Council's decision to double its financial support for Curriculum 2000 to Pounds 68.8 million, dissipating fears that colleges would not
be able to afford to provide
the new qualifications, writes Jennifer Currie.
David Melville, the FEFC's chief executive, told a Further Education Development Agency conference this week that the increase was in recognition of the revised sixth-form curriculum's success.
Judith Norrington, director of curriculum and quality at the Association of Colleges, said that colleges would now be able to provide the extra teachers and resources required.
The FEFC made its initial funding allocations on the assumption that 50 per cent of students would take one subject at AS level, but a 90 per cent take-up has been predicted, following a strong response from schools and sixth-form colleges.
Chris Hughes, FEDA's chief executive, said that the reforms would test universities' commitment to change, as schools and colleges have done all they can to make the qualifications a success.
"Admissions tutors who can pick and choose students will need to recognise the new qualifications. Those that have actively to recruit students need to ensure they don't devalue their courses and the new qualifications by setting minimum entrance levels too low," Mr Hughes said.