Ministers confirmed this week that 16-19 funding for schools will be channelled through the new post-16 superquango, the Learning and Skills Council.
Education secretary David Blunkett confirmed that by 2002-03, school sixth-form funds, as well as cash for colleges, will be determined by the new LSC. Local education authorities will continue to administer the schools cash, "but the LSC will determine the funding policy", said the Association of Colleges.
An analysis by the AoC found that the funding gap had increased, with schools now receiving 35 per cent more funding per unit than colleges for the same provision. "But the fact that the government is going to put funds through the LSC allows an opportunity to close the gap," said David Gibson, chief executive of the AoC.