Before the dissolution of parliament, the government announced that every region in England will receive funding increases for education for 16 to 18 year olds.
Ed Balls announced that all nine regions in England will receive increased allocations to fund 55,000 more 16-18-year-olds in school sixth forms and colleges in the 2010/11 academic year than this.
The regions have been allocated a share of the total £6.48bn investment for 2010/11, representing a 4.2% year-on-year increase to fund 1.35 million students aged 16-18. This investment was included in the £8.2bn for all forms of 16-18 learning announced in the Learning and Skills Council's Annual Statement of Priorities in January.
The investment in education for 16-18 year olds means the government will spend £1.59bn more next year than it did in 2005/06, funding almost 188,000 more students than five years ago.
The £6.48bn investment includes:
£4.03bn for Further Education providers, including Foundation Learning – a 3.9% rise overall from 2009/10. There will be 913,000 Further Education students aged 16-18 in 2010/11, up 3.3% from last year.
£2.2bn for school sixth forms, including Academy sixth forms – a 5.4% rise overall from 2009/10. There will be 440,000 students in these sixth forms in 2010/11, up 6.3% from last year. The final £37m for Academies is still to be allocated.
Schools Secretary Ed Balls said: "With the number of young people choosing to stay in learning increasing, and as we move towards the education and training age rising to 17 in 2013 and 18 in 2015, investing in this area is the right thing to do.
"At the same time as making this record investment, I am expecting sixth forms, Academies and Further Education colleges to take tough decisions to make sure they get the best value for every pound they spend.”