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16-19 education in England is delivered by a range of providers including: schools, sixth form colleges, further education colleges, charitable and private providers; most 16-19 year olds study in FE and sixth form colleges.

Funding is allocated by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and, since 2013/14, is a process which has used a national funding formula based on learner numbers and other factors such as programme costs and area costs. The national funding rate per student is £4,000 per year for 16 and 17 year olds and drops to £3,300 for 18 and 19 year olds.

It has felt the impact of a number of policy reforms.  Along with general FE funding 16-19 funding has experienced a squeezed for the last few years. Partly in response to concerns by the sector it was announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015 that the funding for 16-19 year olds would be protected in cash terms at the current national base rate of £4,000 for the rest of that Parliament.

16-19 providers have experienced funding changes from a range of issues: the implementation of the national funding forumla, the reduction in funding for 18 and 19, and the introducion of compulsory post-16 English and maths for students who did not pass these subjects at age 16.  The sector is also experiencing a demographic drop in the number of 16-18 year olds which has possibly led to an under-spend in the 16-19 budget.  Future changes such as the introduction of the new T levels could also have an impact on some providers as resources are put into these new qualifications.

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