DfE News: The DfE is backing FE

After a landmark speech from the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson earlier this month the DfE have ringfenced £96 million to support disadvantaged students whose studies have been disrupted due to Covid-19. In his speech, the Secretary of State made the case for the the ‘forgotten 50’ referring to those who don’t attend university and announced a forthcoming white paper that will set out the Governments plans to build a world-class, German-style further education system in Britain, and level up skills and opportunities.

Investment in FE is on its way, with the Chancellor recently announcing £200 million of a planned £1.5 billion in capital funding which will be brought forward to upgrade colleges. This week’s announcement that sixth forms and all 16-19 providers, will receive this one-off payment totalling £96 million to fund small group tutoring activity for disadvantaged 16-19 students. The funding forms part of the £350 million tutoring fund for all disadvantaged pupils in schools and colleges. 

Minister for apprenticeships and skills Gillian Keegan said: “I’m absolutely delighted that we have secured an additional £96 million so colleges, sixth forms and all 16-19 providers can provide small group tutoring activity for disadvantaged students whose studies have been disrupted due to Covid-19.”

“The past few months have been extremely challenging for students, and we are really grateful to the FE sector for their hard work to support students to study online. This funding will make sure those that students who will benefit from additional tutoring support will get the help they need to get ahead.”

On hearing the announcement, Chief Executive of the Chichester College Group, Shelagh Legrave said, ‘We are delighted that funding has been extended to support young people up to the age of 18 to catch up with their learning.  Chichester College Group had 4,000 individual retakes of English, maths or both last year and this will enable us to provide individualised programmes for those from disadvantaged backgrounds who do not achieve their grade 4 in these subjects during the Autumn.  It shows the Government’s commitment to the vital work carried out by Further Education Colleges in supporting young people to gain skills and progress.  We will provide more details in September and on our website.’