The Skills Funding Agency

The Skills Funding Agency is a government agency that funds skills training for further education in England. This includes apprenticeships and training schemes, sixth form colleges, learning from prison and adult education. The agency supports “over 1,000 colleges, private training organisations, and employers with £3.6 billion of funding each year” according to its website.

According to an official funding document (available here), funding is distributed through the following formula:

Funding = rate x disadvantage uplift x area cost uplift – non-government contribution.

This disadvantage uplift is designed to funnel more money to further education for those from deprived areas, “recognising that they can be more costly to recruit and keep”. The uplift is calculated using the IMD 2010 score of learners home postcodes and (as of october 2014) results in a funding uplift for learners in the 27% most deprived areas of the country. 

This shows how the IMD can be used in national funding formulae to bolster funding in areas of higher need.


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