Mr Wilson said:
'On the day after the Budget I indicated that whenever additional resources became available we would direct them towards front line services like education. I have decided to allocate a further£1.4 million to FE colleges in recognition of their critical role in widening access to and participation in lifelong learning. This means that colleges this year will have£9.4 million more to spend as a result of this Government's policies, in comparison with the plans of the previous administration.
'I also said that I did not intend to spread the resources too thinly. I am today announcing additional grant allocations to 19 colleges, with two principal objectives. The first is to assist colleges during the initial year of transitional changes which are necessary to move from a funding methodology which encouraged volatile growth and competition between colleges to one which will usher in a period of managed growth and greater stability. The second objective is to reward those colleges which have secured above average growth in the income generated from fees. At the moment this benefits the FE sector as a whole but not necessarily the colleges in question. These allocations help to redress the imbalance.'
1. The allocation of£1.4m grant to FE colleges is in addition to the allocations of£232m announced on 25 February for 1998-99.
There are three elements to the allocation of the£1.4 million.
2.£796k is allocated in the form of `transitional relief' to 15 colleges whose grant under year one of the transitional changes to the funding methodology is less than it would have been under the old methodology. This is in recognition of the fact that these changes are retrospective. They could not have been planned for or foreseen by colleges during 1996-97, the academic year whose statistics form the basis for the recent allocations.
3.£536k is allocated to 12 colleges who have delivered above average increases in the generation of fee income from employers, students etc. At the moment this benefits the FE sector as a whole, rather than the colleges in question, as the fee income is effectively pooled.
4.£68k is allocated to John Wheatley College, the one FE college which, by virtue of the fact that it offers no full time higher education courses, cannot benefit from the extra #5 million in HE tuition fee receipts which will be available this year to the colleges as a result of the recent changes to HE tuition fee arrangements.
5. Media can obtain copies of a table showing the allocation of the
£1.4 million to individual FE colleges by contacting the number below.