ONS reclassification of sixth form and FE colleges

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has decided to reclassify sixth form colleges (SFCs) to the private sector for the purposes of National Accounts. This classification will also apply to Further Education colleges and will come into effect in April 2012.

Previously, in October 2010 the ONS had announced that it would reclassify sixth form colleges to the public sector, which could have had significant implications for the financial decision making and reporting of colleges.

Since then the DfE has been working with the YPLA towards simplifying arrangements and deregulating the SFC sector, including the announcement of proposals for removing audit requirements and introducing extra freedoms through the Education Act. The DfE and YPLA are now considering the implications of the reclassification decision for the sector.

The reclassification is provisional upon the ONS being satisfied that there are no other public sector controls in other documentation such as funding agreements, and keeping under review the use of remaining government powers within legislation.

Information for:

  • Sixth form colleges
  • FE colleges

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