Javid promises strong statement on further education after £400m funding pledge

Chancellor Sajid Javid has pledged to invest £400 million in education for 16 to 19-year-olds next year to help give young people “a brighter future”.

Describing the funding boost as the biggest increase for a decade, Mr Javid vowed to make a “strong statement” about the importance of further education in next Wednesday’s spending review.

The money will help fund new technical and vocational qualifications as well as “more expensive” courses such as science, engineering and mathematics, he said.

It comes after the Government announced billions of pounds in extra funding for primary and secondary schools over the next three years.

Writing in The Guardian, Mr Javid, who himself attended an FE (further education) college in Bristol, said: “As Britain leaves the EU on October 31 good colleges are vital to develop the skills and training necessary to help our young people on the road to a brighter future.”

“I want this investment to start to end the snobbishness in some quarters about the quality and importance of a vocational education,” he added.

“It was an FE college that equipped me with the qualifications needed to pursue my ambitions.

“And my two brothers who preceded me into college show that people who use their hands as well as their heads can use their qualifications to become incredibly successful in terms of jobs and financial security.”

The Chancellor said the funding would support the roll-out of new technical T-level qualifications, which are due to be introduced in England from next year and are intended to have an equal status to A-levels.

“These two-year courses, in subjects as varied as accounting, digital production and construction, will change the face of vocational education in this country,” he said.

Meanwhile, Friday’s announcement of more funding for primary and secondary schools came after years of lobbying by heads and teachers for more cash.

The investment will be staggered, with much of the money coming at the end of the three-year period.

In 2020/21, schools will get a £2.6 billion rise, £4.8 billion in 2021/22 and £7.1 billion in 2022/23.

The money covers real-terms rises in school budgets due to factors such as inflation, increases in the pupil population as well as additional extra funding.

In addition to the funding pot, £1.5 billion each year will be put into teachers’ pensions.

The Government said this means that the overall three-year funding package totals £18.9 billion.

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