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NCFE 2018 budget submission:

Our Policy team have been at the party conferences this year and have put together some requests of the treasury before the upcoming budget.

We ask that the Treasury:

  1. Protects the Adult Education Budget (AEB) from future cuts threatened by treasury.

It was reported over the summer that this budget might be at risk. Cutting this would be a mistake as this risks future prosperity & earnings potential of our adult population.

  1. Ensures that apprenticeship levy underspends are fed back into the apprenticeship system and guarantees sufficient funding for non-levy payers.

The unspent funds in an employer’s levy account should feed back into the apprenticeship funding system to fund non-levy payers’ apprenticeship programmes. Additional funds should be made available to support the 98% of employers who are not levy payers.

  1. Increases funding for 16-18 year olds, in line with inflation and challenges the rationale behind the drop in funding once a learner reaches 18.

The funding rate for students’ (aged 16 and 17) education has been frozen at £4,000 since 2013-14. This equates to an approximate 9% cut based on 2017 prices. [1]

‘The funding rate for students who are already aged 18 has been frozen at £3,300 since it was cut by 17.5 per cent in 2014’ [2] . This disadvantages learners who need additional support at this age, or who may be taking 3-year programmes. This is especially true for learners looking to undertake a T Level for a transition year.

  1. Extends maintenance loans to facilitate participation on T Levels by 19-23 year olds.

Full-time maintenance loans will cover the living and transport costs of 19-23 year olds on T Levels who want to be full-time students first and workers second. If part-time T Levels for 19-23 year olds are introduced, part-time maintenance loans will ease the financial pressure of young adults to put earning before part-time learning [3].

  1. Works with the Department for Transport to ensure all young people have access to affordable public transport, so they can access employment, technical education and apprenticeship opportunities.

This need is particularly acute for education providers and employers of young people in rural locations or sectors, such as Agricultural, Environmental and Animal Care or Catering and Hospitality [4].



[3] T-Levels for 19-23 year olds - The Value of Maintenance Loans, NCFE & Campaign for Learning, August 2018.

[4] Employer engagement and capacity to support T Level industry placements, Department for Education, August 2018.


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