The Welsh Government will provide £33m to support learners in colleges and sixth forms across Wales, as part of the £150m it has committed to the education response to Covid-19.
The funding will be split between post-16 education providers, with £24.25m for further education colleges and £8.75m for school sixth forms.
The funding will support additional teaching time, both in the classroom environment and one-to-one support, that can be tailored to the needs of individual full-time 16-19 learners who are beginning their AS, A-levels or vocational courses at either a sixth form or FE college.
Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said:
“In terms of education, learners who began their post-16 education this academic year have been particularly impacted by the pandemic.
“Though the way staff and students made the transition into blended learning has been excellent, there is simply no substitute for face-to-face learning in a class or lecture room with a teaching professional. Some students found learning online particularly challenging and I’m conscious of the impact of the pandemic on learners from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.
“It’s essential we invest now to support those students, so they can be reassured that they will have the time and support they need to re-engage with their education and enhance their learning.”
Iestyn Davies, Chief Executive of Colegau Cymru, the body working with Wales’ thirteen Further Education colleges, said:
“Welsh Government assistance has been key to supporting learners in colleges and schools. This significant and much needed funding will help colleges and school sixth forms offer tailored support to young people as they enter post-compulsory education.
“COVID 19 has undoubtedly impacted learners as they transition from compulsory schooling and onwards to the next stage of their education journey. However, the government’s commitment to both their learning and wellbeing means they will receive the support they need to take their next steps. It is testament to the Minister and the administration’s commitment to provide the support that is required.”
Julie James said: “Welsh Government are putting a serious focus on learning, both for young learners and lifelong learning. We will prevent any kind of ‘lost generation’ occurring in Wales as a result of the pandemic. We will provide the funding and teaching needed for everyone to get the skills they need to make life better for themselves and their communities“