Sixth form colleges miss out on VAT reimbursement


A sixth-form college principal has spoken out against the government regulations concerning independent further education establishments.

David Adelman, principal of Godalming College in Surrey, told the Guardian that he was “angry” not only at government funding cuts but also that his college cannot claim back VAT on purchases, whereas schools can.

Godalming College will experience a 29 per cent reduction in funding between 2011 and 2017, according to its principal. He states that primary and secondary schools were protected from such austerity cuts in the 2010 comprehensive spending review, and questioned why the prejudice was allowed to exist.

The sixth-form principal said: “Schools, which are able to claim back their VAT costs, are in effect getting paid a higher price from the state for their 16 to 19-year-old students.”

Godalming College could have claimed back £310,000 from the government in VAT costs, which could have employed nine additional teachers, increasing teaching time and reducing class size.

Mr Adelman criticised the government for failing to hold all education facilities to the same standards, claiming it uses “the power of the state to support its pet projects and prejudices”.