Alan Whitehead MP

Member of Parliament for Southampton Test

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Sixth form colleges are losing out on funding

New research from the office of Alan Whitehead, MP for Southampton Test, has revealed sixth form colleges are receiving substantially less funding than new sixth forms that are set up as free schools.

New research from the office of Alan Whitehead, MP for Southampton Test, has revealed sixth form colleges are receiving substantially less funding than new sixth forms that are set up as free schools.
 
The government recently announced that it would withdraw funding for those in full time education above the age of eighteen. This is a further blow to sixth form colleges who already receive less funding than newly-founded free school sixth forms because of tax differences.

Despite being almost identical in terms of function, new free school sixth forms are classified differently from sixth form colleges by the Office for National Statistics. The difference in classification means that sixth form centres are not reimbursed for VAT whereas free school sixth forms are.

Alan Whitehead MP said:

"This situation is completely unfair. Because of extremely tenuous differences in classification, new free school sixth forms are getting more funding at the expense of established sixth form colleges, such as Richard Taunton’s, which makes an outstanding contribution to the city.

The three sixth form colleges in Southampton, Richard Taunton’s College and 
Itchen College, could be using this money to make a real difference by employing extra teachers and reducing set sizes.
 
Sixth form colleges need to be classified in the same way as new free schools and academies. It should not be our young people who have to suffer the consequences of this bureaucratic political decision.”

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