Reclassification of colleges as public sector organisations: SFCA response

Reclassification of colleges as public sector organisations: SFCA response

Responding to today’s announcement, SFCA Chief Executive Bill Watkin said:

"The ONS decision to reclassify colleges as part of the public sector comes as little surprise. However, the government’s response to reclassification is very disappointing. The Department for Education has missed a golden opportunity to address the long standing and indefensible inequalities that exist between colleges and other providers of 16-19 education. For example, the imposition of VAT on sixth form colleges will continue to act as a tax on learning that redirects funding away from the frontline education of students. There is very little in today’s response that will benefit students, but a great deal that will tie up college staff in bureaucracy and red tape.  We will be pressing the Department for Education to revisit the inequalities that exist between college and non-college providers and make the implementation of reclassification as smooth as possible. Alongside this, the Department needs to adopt a much more flexible approach to academy conversion.  Today’s announcement will encourage more sixth form colleges to consider the academy option and it is more important than ever to remove some of the longstanding barriers to conversion."

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