This study uses data for nearly 200 further education providers in England to investigate the level of efficiency and change in productivity over the period 1999-2003. Using data envelopment analysis we find that the mean provider efficiency varies between 83 and 90 percent over the period. Productivity change over the period was around 12 percent, and this comprised 8 percent technology change and 4 percent technical efficiency change. A multivariate analysis is therefore performed, which shows that, in general, student-related variables such as gender, ethnic and age mix are more important than staff-related variables in determining efficiency levels. The local unemployment rate also has an effect on provider efficiency. The policy implications of the results are that further education providers should implement strategies to improve the completion and achievement rates of white males, and should also offer increased administrative support to teachers.