Revealed: More than one in ten colleges lose cash under controversial English and maths condition-of-funding rules

Twenty three of the 171 (13 per cent) colleges have been stripped of £1,468,934 in their funding allocation due to the controversial English and maths condition-of-funding rule, according to new government figures.

A further 46 private providers (38 per cent) lost £495,133 and 24 UTCs and Studio Schools (32 per cent) lost £411,777.

But the biggest loses from the total £5.7 million reduction were academies, where 139 out of 1,479 (9 per cent) lost £1,672,735 from their 2019/20 allocation.

Under original ESFA rules, any 16- to 18-year-old student who does not have at least a C (now 4) in their English and maths GCSEs, and who fails to enrol in the subjects, will be removed in full from funding allocations for the next-but-one academic year.

But the condition was relaxed from 2016/17, with the penalty halved and only applied to providers at which more than five per cent of students did not meet the standard.

So only those providers with more than 5 per cent of students failing to enrol on eligible English and math qualifications saw their funding ‘adjusted’ in the 2019/20 allocation.

In total, 24,943 students (2.2 per cent compared to total allocated) were not enrolled on eligible qualifications to meet the condition of funding rule.

The latest figures for colleges show an increase from 13 that were deducted £1,137,091 last year.

See analysis above and reaction in the next edition of FE Week.


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  1. So they should have. It’s not difficult to understand or implement and rules are rules. The policy, rightly or wrongly is intended to ensure that those who have been failed by the school system are not failed again by FE. It is poor leadership which led to providers not identifying those students who were ineligible for funding and cynical leaders playing games by only aiming to ensure that 95% of students meet CoF for English and maths and the absolute minimum 540 hrs requirement of study programmes.