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Budget 2016: Highlights on education, apprenticeships & lifelong learning

Here are some of the highlights of George Osborne’s eighth Budget as chancellor

Higher education

  • Support will be provided for adults wanting to study at any qualification level, from basic skills up to PhD. Loans will be introduced for level 3 to level 6 training in further education, part-time second degrees in STEM, and postgraduate taught master’s courses.
  • Loans of up to £25,000 will be available to any English student without a Research Council living allowance who can win a place for doctoral study at a UK university, from 2018-19.
  • The gaps in support for lifetime learning will be reviewed, including those for flexible and part-time study whilst bringing together information about the wages of graduates on different courses and financial support available across further and higher education.
  • The Government will continue to free up student number controls for alternative providers predominantly offering degree level courses for the 2017-18 academic year.
  • The eligibility of master’s loans will be extended to include three-year part-time courses with no full-time equivalent.


  • Employers will receive a 10 per cent top-up to their monthly levy contributions in England from April 2017.
  • The money will be available for them to spend on apprenticeship training through their digital account.
  • An apprenticeship levy will also be introduced in April 2017. It will be set at a rate of 0.5 per cent of an employer’s paybill and will be paid through PAYE.

Stewart Segal, CEO of Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), said: “We will need to understand how exactly the top-up will work and in particular how it will work for those only paying a small levy.”


  • All schools in England will have academy status – accelerating the fairer schools funding with the first National Funding Formula for schools from 2017-18.
  • £500 million of additional core funding will be given to schools over the course of this Spending Review, on top of the commitment to maintain per pupil funding in cash terms.
  • The Government expect all schools to become academies by 2020, or to have an academy order in place to convert by 2022.

Lifelong learning

  • The Government will review gaps in support for lifetime learning.


  • Professor Sir Adrian Smith is to review the case on how to improve the study of maths from 16 to 18, report during 2016.

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