The Government quango responsible for funding education for 16 to 18-year-olds in the UK has unexpectedly cut its budgets for further education. Sixth-form classes and colleges in the Royal Borough of Kingston now face a cash shortfall when paying for next year’s classes.
Executive member for Children and Young People’s Service, Cllr Patricia Bamford explained: “The Learning and Skills Council has slashed its funding for post-16 education throughout the country. Kingston’s schools now face a cash cut of £266,000 out of their funding budget. This is a nightmare scenario for Further Education in the Borough.”
In the Government’s national drive to ensure teenagers stay in education and training beyond 16, the LSC FE institutions increased funding for 2009/10 to pay for extra pupils.
Cllr Bamford said: “Based on Government promises of additional funding, sixth form classes and further education colleges in Kingston accepted extra students for next year’s classes.
“Thanks to Government mismanagement and poor planning the LSC doesn’t have the cash to follow through Government policy. Kingston schools may now need to cut staff numbers or change next year’s curriculum.
“I will be writing to Alistair Darling and Ed Balls with urgency to demonstrate this Council’s anger at the LSC funding fiasco. Students and teachers in Kingston have been badly let down.”