Budget 2016: Key points on education, lifelong learning and apprenticeships

George Osborne has delivered his eighth Budget as chancellor. Here are the main points of what he said.

Higher education

The Government will provide support to adults wishing 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.

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From 2018-19, 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.

The eligibility of master’s loans will be extended to include three-year part-time courses with no full-time equivalent.

The Government will review the gaps in support for lifetime learning, including 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 Chancellor George Osborne has announced from April 2017, employers will receive a 10 per cent top-up to their monthly levy contributions in England.

The money will be available for them to spend on apprenticeship training through their digital account.

As announced at Autumn Statement and Spending Review 2015, the government will introduce the apprenticeship levy 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.”


The Chancellor has committed to the academisation of Schools in England and accelerating the fairer schools funding with the first National Funding Formula for schools from 2017-18.

The Government expect all schools to become academies by 2020, or to have an academy order in place to convert by 2022.

£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.

Lifelong learning

The Government will review gaps in support for lifetime learning


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


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