New Forest East



Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of recent representations submitted to his Department by the Association of Colleges on (a) pay differentials between schoolteachers and further education lecturers, (b) changes to workloads relating to potential grade inflation and changes to sixth-form student numbers resulting from exam cancellations and (c) the availability of shared funding for approved capital projects.  [27498]

[Due for Answer on 4 July]


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills (Alex Burghart): Setting pay rates for lecturers in further education (FE) is the responsibility of colleges and the department plays no role in this process. However, we recognise that the department’s funding does affect college finances and, therefore, pay decisions. We will make available an additional £1.6 billion for 16-19 education in the 2024/25 financial year compared with the 2021/22 financial year. This is in addition to the £291 million extra funding for 16-19 education in the 2021/22 financial year, and the £400 million that the department provided in the 2020/21 financial year. We will be investing nearly £52 million in the FE Workforce in the 2022/23 financial year, to continue to support the FE sector with the recruitment, retention, and development of teachers. This includes bursaries worth up to £26,000 each tax-free, which are available to support FE teacher training in priority subject areas for the 2022/23 academic year.

We recognise that arrangements for GCSEs during the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to a fall in student numbers for some providers and an increase for others. We increased the funding rates to colleges and other providers in the 2022/23 financial year, which will cushion the impact on allocations for institutions with falling student numbers. We are aware of the challenges facing capital projects across different types of education providers. Many colleges who have approved bids for capital funding will also be contributing match funding towards their projects, and it is for colleges to manage their projects within the budget available. We will monitor progress across all college projects.