College reveals funding cuts

Exmouth Community College has said that government funding cuts led it to pull out of plans to lease buildings at Rolle College.

It had been hoped that the community college would become a major user of the Rolle site, and there was disappointment when it revealed last month that it could not afford to rent facilities there.

However, the college has now revealed that national cuts to the funding of academies are to blame.

The college became an academy last April, in a move which allowed it to manage its own funding and move away from local education authority control.

The school saw early benefits from the scheme when it received a �1.3 million grant from the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund last summer to help with maintenance.

However, following the decision to pull out of the Rolle College project, the school has revealed it is receiving less money from the move than it expected to.

College principal Tony Alexander says that the government has made cuts to the school’s local authority central spend equivalent grant (LACSEG) – a grant given to academies to fund services which, before they became academies, were provided for free by the local authority.

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The LACSEG is one of two funding streams which make up an academy’s funding, and is set by the government for each local authority area.

Mr Alexander says that, as the government has cut the amount the college receives this year from the LACSEG by 31 per cent, the college has less money to spend than it had hoped.

Mr Alexander said: “Because the government recently cut the LACSEG to Devon, we don’t have as much to spend as we had anticipated. However, as an academy, we’re still better off than we would have been if we’d remained with the local authority.”

Despite the college’s funding setback, Mr Alexander has reiterated its desire to be involved with the Rolle site in some form.

“We are still in discussions with the Rolle College management board, and are looking actively at areas of Rolle we can utilise for the benefit of our students and for the wider good of the town.”