Question to the Department for Education:
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of (1) the overall funding gap, and (2) the shortfall in income from apprenticeships and other vocational courses, for further education colleges in (a) 2020/21, and (b) 2021/22.
Working closely with the FE college sector we will receive a light touch financial return at the end of the 19/20 academic year setting out the year-end financial position for 19/20 and forecast for 20/21. On a voluntary basis, colleges can also provide information on 21/22. The return is designed to minimise the administrative burden on the sector during this time and therefore focuses on the finances at institutional level and does not provide the level of detail to assess the impact at individual funding lines such as apprenticeships. The intention is to continue to monitor the impact and receive further submissions during 20/21. These returns will enable FE colleges with current or forecast financial issues to be identified.
In regard to the funding gap, the 20/21 return will allow us to make an overall assessment of the difference between income and costs for colleges.