Suffolk 1 in Dire Straits: (Source: Suffolk People's Assembly:
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Suffolk One’s Funding Crisis
The scale of the cuts proposed at “Suffolk One” Sixth Form college are worse than was originally reported.
According to the EADT24
“in excess of 30 full-time equivalent staff” in both teaching and non-teaching roles” are now under threat.
Local Tory MP’s Ben Gummer and Tim Yeo are offering to pull strings in the Coalition Government and Suffolk County Council But these cuts are a direct consequence of the national policies they support. (see below)
Nor can Suffolk County Council be exempted from blame
Last year, when the college was proposing to teaching on its Foundation courses for students with Learning disabilities from 3 to 5 days a week, SCC refused to give them any more money. It has it yet to agree to ease payments on the £2 million loan it gave to the college when it purchased land for the site.
Last year, in a report to the Governing Body, One’s Principal Alan Whittaker made the following points about the College's growing deficit:-
“... policy decisions by Government taken after the school was started and which could not therefore be taken into account when the financial planning was undertaken invalidated these assumptions as funding streams were reduced or withdrawn altogether. The most significant changes over the period since 2010 have been:-
- The reduction in the rate of funding in school 6th forms to that of colleges.
- The removal of funding for enrichment.
- The removal of Teacher Pay Grant.
- The withdrawing of funding uplift for Teacher Pensions.
- The mainstreaming and subsequent freezing of Standards Grants resulting in funding per student falling.
- Withdrawal of funding for 14-16 Diplomas – a key part of the original project.“
(The deficit in the colleges finances up to 2013-14 is summarised in the attached table)
The “government policy decisions” that Alan Whittaker refers to mean that funding for 16-19 year olds will fall by almost 20 per cent in real terms across the lifetime of this Parliament.
- The Sixth Form Colleges’ Association has calculated that sixth form colleges have already lost £100 million of funding since 2010.
- Funding cuts in 2013/2014 meant that 95 per cent of sixth form colleges reduced staffing numbers and 68 per cent had to drop courses.
- £45 million has been allocated by Government to establish just one 16-19 free school in Westminster at a cost of about £90,000 for each student.
- Academies can spend almost £1,600 a year more per sixth form student than sixth form colleges because of different funding rules.
The NUT’s Edu-Facts website has full details on the disparities in funding for Sixth Form Colleges:-