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Provide world-class equipment and facilities for further education colleges

We will invest in further education colleges to make sure they have world-class equipment and facilities…

Our Verdict

This sits within the broader ambition in the manifesto to make “technical education in this country…rival the best technical systems in the world”. There are numerous initiatives with that objective in mind (see Related policies below).

This particular policy pledge, however, refers specifically to funding for existing further education (FE) colleges – it is set apart from promises to do with new institutes of technology and apprenticeships. So we are looking for investment under this government in existing FE colleges to “make sure they have world-class equipment and facilities”.

In March 2018, looking at school capital funding allocations (which include funding for sixth form colleges) the government announced:

“We are rolling forward our existing funding approach for the financial year 2018 to 2019, with no changes to the methodology used in 2017 to 2018”.

So no significant change to funding there.

Also, in its summary of main changes since funding rules 2017 to 2018 the  Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) does not list anything that would impact in a meaningful way on the ability of FE colleges to provide “world-class equipment and facilities”.

There is no government funding specifically for capital projects (buildings, grounds and equipment) in further education colleges, and the general funding arrangements have not changed under this government. This policy is a promise to “invest”. We take that to mean investment above and beyond what already existed, so we’re marking this as ‘not started’. We’ll be looking out for changes to funding arrangements or any stand-alone investment in further education colleges. Follow this policy for updates.

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