End "Unjustifiable" VAT treament of Sixth Form Colleges like Priestley

Warrington MP David Mowat joined 73 other MPs from across the House of Commons in urging the Government to review the amount of VAT specialist sixth form colleges are required to pay.

At present, schools and academies with their own sixth form colleges have their VAT bills refunded by the Government but standalone colleges, such as Priestley College in Warrington, do not. On average, colleges have to divert £250,000 per year from supporting students to paying their VAT Bill.

Sixth Form Colleges are further disadvantaged by being unable to "cross-subsidise" some of their activities by using funds allocated for pre-16 students – as schools and academies are able to do. The Prime Minister recently promised to "look carefully" at the VAT treatment of sixth form colleges.

Commenting, Mr Mowat said:

"Priestley College delivers an outstanding education for many children in and around Warrington and it deserves to compete on a level playing field.

"The current system of funding is unjustifiable and needs reviewing urgently. I am not calling for any special treatment, just fairness in the way funds are allocated."

"Colleges like Priestley shouldn't be disadvantaged by having to pay bills that other schools don't. It's not good for the College and it's not good for the students."

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