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Small council faculties shall be unfairly hit by the apprenticeship levy, says the LGA

Plans to spice up apprenticeship funding in England will hit college budgets, with small council faculties unfairly affected, say city corridor bosses.

From Might, all employers with wage payments over £3m a yr must pay zero.5% of that into the brand new apprenticeship levy.

However council faculties under that threshold should nonetheless pay as they arrive underneath the general native authority wage invoice, whereas small academies are exempt.

The LGA desires the foundations modified to place all faculties on an equal footing.

Ministers say native authorities, somewhat than the colleges themselves, shall be answerable for paying the levy.

‘Discriminatory’

However the LGA says the levy will unfairly hit the funds of about 9,000 small neighborhood faculties, normally primaries, with a complete of two.eight million pupils.

It is because the place a college is maintained by the council, its employees are employed by the native authority, and people employees contribute to the general wage invoice of the council somewhat than being counted individually.

Because of this the apprenticeship levy is utilized to them, and can must be accounted for at school budgets from April 2017, in accordance with the LGA.

However free standing academies, the place the academy belief is the employer, shall be exempt.

The identical is true of some religion and basis faculties, the place the governing physique is the employer.

“It’s discriminatory,” mentioned Richard Watts, chairman of the LGA’s Youngsters and Younger Folks Board.

“It’s no secret that many colleges are combating their funding, but as soon as once more, council-maintained faculties are being dealt a poor hand in comparison with academies.”

“Clearly what actually issues is ensuring that each one youngsters get the training they deserve, no matter college buildings, so making use of initiatives just like the levy equally throughout all faculties is simply proper.

“The federal government subsequently must urgently revise the apprenticeship levy to guarantee that all faculties are on an equal footing.”

‘Breaking level’

The Nationwide Affiliation of Head Academics warned that whereas zero.5% won’t sound like a lot, “it comes within the context of faculty budgets being at breaking level already”.

“It is one other instance of presidency insurance policies hurting faculties,” mentioned NAHT Head of Coverage Valentine Mulholland.

“We’d undoubtedly assist the LGA’s name for small native authority faculties to be handled in the identical means as stand-alone academies.”

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Smaller faculties will battle to entry funding from the levy, says the Nationwide Affiliation of Head Academics

As soon as the levy is paid, employers will be capable to access funding for apprenticeships, however Ms Mulholland mentioned smaller faculties would battle to do that.

“There are hardly any apprenticeships which might be appropriate for faculties,” she mentioned.

Ms Mulholland mentioned massive secondaries might develop grasp’s degree apprenticeships to assist employees educate exterior their predominant topic areas or transfer into management.

However smaller faculties, which are sometimes primaries, lacked the flexibleness and the sources to have the ability to do that, she mentioned, so the levy would grow to be “simply one other tax”.

Apprenticeship and Expertise Minister Robert Halfon mentioned: “We count on these faculties to have full entry to funding for apprenticeship coaching and can assist all employers, together with faculties and native authorities, in utilizing levy funds to put money into high quality apprenticeships,” mentioned Apprenticeship and Expertise Minister Robert Halfon.