Decision will be lifeline for the institutions that were forced to put development plans on ice after Learning and Skills Council blew budget by more than 150%

Sixth form colleges that were put on hold after a funding fiasco will be able to bid for money from the Building Schools for the Future scheme, the government has confirmed.

The move offers a lifeline to sixth form colleges that had to put development plans on ice after the Learning and Skills Council blew its budget for funding further education institutions by more than 150%.

Sixth form colleges accounted for 15 of the 144 schemes put on hold; however, it is thought that many others were preparing bids before the programme was halted.

The institutions will now be able to bid to become part of the BSF initiative run by Partnerships for Schools (PfS).

The Department for Children, Schools and Families and PfS are working out how to incorporate the projects into the scheme. It is unlikely that the schemes will be added onto BSF schemes already in procurement, however there may be an opportunity for them to be incorporated into projects in areas where BSF programmes have not yet begun.

Some sixth form projects were previously eligible for inclusion in BSF; however the government confirmation is thought to broaden scope for bringing more into the programme.