SFCA promotes the Sixth Form College Sector to a wide range of key stakeholders, including the media, politicians and potential students. Through its extensive campaigning and lobbying work, SFCA ensures the interests of the sector are represented at the highest levels.
SFCA campaigning successes
After two years of campaigning for fairer funding for the sector it was announced by the Chancellor in the spending review and autumn statement that Sixth Form Colleges can convert to become academies so they no longer have to pay VAT. This was a historic moment for the sector and – particularly in the context of area reviews – provides a real alternative to the FE-centric mergers that have done so much to reduce the number of Sixth Form Colleges since incorporation.
We successfully engaged the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sixth Form Colleges to help remove the retrospective VAT charge on buildings for colleges that academise, and secured a commitmentfrom Ofsted not to undertake mandatory inspections of colleges post-conversion.
The Drop the learning tax campaign coupled with the wide coverage of our funding impact survey led to a pledge from the Chancellor to maintain the national funding rate for 16–19 year olds for the rest of this Parliament. SFCA is grateful to all Sixth Form Colleges that participated in our funding campaign particularly those that used our resources and materials to lobby local MPs.
SFCA will continue to develop the funding campaign this year, as the rate of 16–19 funding is still inadequate, and is being eroded by inflationary pressures and significant cost increases.