Reforms to Further Education Funding and Accountability

Closed 7 Oct 2021

Opened 15 Jul 2021

Feedback updated 25 Aug 2022

We asked

In 2021, the Department for Education ran a consultation asking for views on proposals for reforming the further education funding and accountability system.

We would like to thank all those who responded to the consultation, as well as college leaders and sector experts who have worked with us to co-design our proposals.

You said

Respondents generally agreed with the adult skills funding system reform objectives as set out - many remarked that the core of the present system is not complicated, but the add-ons and various funding streams have made it so. A significant number of respondents did not agree that Community Learning should be included as part of these reforms and expressed concern that we would lose sight of the positive impact this provision has on communities as a result. Most respondents welcomed the proposed multi-year funding allocations, recognising it as a helpful step towards providing more predictability and to enabling providers adapt to changing employment needs.

Over three quarters of respondents wanted our accountability proposals to apply to all grant funded providers on a proportionate and relevant basis; agreed with our objectives for new Accountability Agreements; with a renewed focus for the FE Commissioner on driving improvement and championing excellence; and with high level proposals to improve student data collection. A significant number of respondents did not agree with our proposals for a simpler three-stage approach to improve college performance, and inclusion of a financial health measure in the proposed FE performance Dashboard.

We did

We have taken on board responses to the first consultation, and are now setting out further detail of our proposals in a second consultation available here – which is open until 21st September 2022. We welcome the views of all those who work in and with the FE sector and encourage you to respond.


We're seeking views on proposals for reforming the FE funding and accountability systems.

Why your views matter

The Skills for Jobs White Paper sets out our vision to transform further education. We want people to get the advanced technical and higher technical skills they need to get good jobs. Colleges’ place at the centre of their local communities and economies means that they are key to unlocking opportunities and to building back better.

This consultation delivers key commitments of the White Paper – it addresses the underlying system of complex funding for adult skills and limited focus on outcomes, through proposals to reform adult skills funding and the wider accountability regime for colleges and other grant funded providers.

What happens next

The responses from this consultation will be considered carefully and help shape the reforms the government will make to adult skills funding and the accountability system for further education in England. 


  • Training providers
  • Local authorities
  • Adult education providers
  • Further education colleges
  • Sixth form colleges
  • Independent specialist colleges
  • Designated institutions and 16-19 academies
  • Employers
  • Community representatives
  • Unions and representative organisations
  • Government bodies and departments


  • Post-16 funding
  • Accountability