§ 8. Helen Jackson (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
What plans she has to establish more sixth form colleges. 
§ The Minister for Lifelong Learning (Margaret Hodge)
That has saved my brilliant answer.
All young people need access to high-quality education and training in an environment where their needs for pastoral support can be met. Sixth form colleges, sixth form centres in general further education colleges, and school sixth forms provide that. Individual proposals for new sixth form colleges will be considered on their own merits and in the light of local circumstance.
§ Helen Jackson
I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. [Laughter.] But, as I was going to explain, I believe that Sheffield is probably the most socially polarised city in the country. That is underpinned by the yawning gap in post-l6 provision in the city.
The proposed sixth form campus for Hillsborough will be a state-of-the-art facility, providing top-class A-level provision, enhanced by engineering courses and top-level vocational courses. It will operate wider Sheffield college, but work with the schools in the city. Will my hon. Friend ensure that it fulfils the high hopes and expectations of everyone in the north of Sheffield and Stocksbridge, Chapeltown and High Green, and that the yawning gap in provision starts to reduce?
§ Margaret Hodge
I thank my hon. Friend for giving me the opportunity to give my original answer. Having put energy into preparing it, lots of my officials would be upset had I been unable to give it.
404 I understand that there are on-going discussions between the stakeholders in Sheffield about how best to respond to the need that my hon. Friend has correctly identified, particularly in the north of the city. I hope that the decision will lead to a local agreement among the partners and I look forward to receiving proposals from the learning and skills council.
§ Chris Grayling (Epsom and Ewell)
Is the Minister aware of the concern in many sixth forms and among head teachers about the future financing of those institutions following the introduction of the learning and skills council? Will she give a guarantee that the ring-fenced arrangements for financing school sixth forms will not be removed in the event of a small fall in the sixth form roll?
§ Margaret Hodge
I am aware of the concerns—change is always difficult. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that our promise to maintain real-terms funding for school sixth forms will be kept. I hope that all schools will get their initial allocations in December.
§ Laura Moffatt (Crawley)
Does my hon. Friend agree that the important thing for post-16 education is quality, and that it is crucial that the resources for that sector are shared throughout it? Likewise, it is important that the level of parochialism governing who provides what is also reduced. If there were a fairer division of resources throughout our constituencies, our 16 to 18-year-olds who plan to go to university would get a better education.
§ Margaret Hodge
There is good quality across all providers of post-16 education in all local education authority areas and we wish to build on that. I hope that the reviews of that provision across the country will help stakeholders plan together to ensure that the needs of all individuals within communities are best met.