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A-level Courses Impacted by Reduced Funding

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Due to a lack of funding six-form colleges in England have been forced to drop courses, meaning students must choose from an increasingly narrow range of A-level subjects.

According to the Sixth Form Colleges Association's annual survey, two thirds of colleges have had to drop courses, while over half have removed or reduced extra-curricular activities such as music, drama and sport.

Government has said it protected the base rate of funding for all post-16 students until 2020.

The annual questionnaire was sent to all 90 sixth form colleges in England. The findings indicated that 39% have dropped courses in modern foreign languages, while 84% of colleges are teaching students in larger class sizes. Of the 80 that responded 64% say funding will not be sufficient to help support disadvantaged students and 90% are concerned about the financial health of their institution.

The SFCA says the sector has been on the receiving end of three funding cuts since 2011 but must contend with rising costs in increased employer contributions to pensions and national insurance schemes.

In particular the report raised concerns that non-qualification and extra-curricular activities are being reduced or removed.

Chief executive of the SFCA, Bill Watkin said: "A review of sixth form funding is urgently required to ensure it is linked to the realistic costs of delivering a rounded, high-quality curriculum.

"Failure to do this risks turning sixth form education into a narrow and part-time experience. That would be bad for students, bad for society and bad for the economy."