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Further education funding and accountability reforms in England

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The Department for Education held a consultation on further education funding and accountability reforms in England.

UCU agrees that we need to simplify funding and that it should be effective. However we are concerned that being outcome focused in practical terms means looking at economic outcomes to the exclusion of social benefits. A focus on outcomes must also not lead to greater bureaucracy and funding conditionality for providers.

UCU believes it will be essential for the department to secure an increased budget for the FE sector. We already have a £9,000 pay gap between college staff and their equivalents in schools. We have seen experienced and skilled staff leave the sector and many of those who remain are grappling with excessively high workloads and stress. Without dealing with these endemic issues and tackling the recruitment and retention crisis we will not begin to be able to implement the proposed reforms effectively.