Skills Secretary, John Denham, made a statement on capital funding for FE colleges to Parliament today.
The statement provides good news for eight colleges, including Coulsdon, whose schemes were deferred in December and are now given detailed approval.
The statement goes on…
However, the LSC has now completed its assessment of other colleges seeking approval in principle or detail. I am informed that the Council has already given 79 colleges the first stage of approval in principle. Government funding of nearly £2.7 billion would be needed for them to proceed. A further 65 colleges have submitted bids to the national LSC for approval in principle with an assumed funding contribution from Government of a further £3 billion.
As a consequence, there are many more schemes currently in preparation than can be funded in this spending round. For that reason, I agreed with the Council that they would appoint an independent reviewer – Sir Andrew Foster – to find out how this situation arose and what lessons must be learnt for the future. It is clear that even at current record levels of funding not all schemes can be implemented on the timescales originally envisaged. I have therefore asked the Council to consult with the Association of Colleges and the FE sector to advise me on ways of prioritising schemes in the future programme.