Julian makes the case for additional support for Further Education Colleges
April 2, 2019
Julian has today spoken in a packed parliamentary debate about the importance of adequately funding Further Education (FE) colleges. It follows his support for a cross-party letter to the Chancellor signed by 164 MPs urging the Government to prioritise FE funding in the upcoming Spending Review.
Julian highlighted the concerns that have been raised by York College about the disadvantages that FE colleges face in comparison with schools, given that colleges lack the option to cross subsidise. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, FE is the only stage of education to have received a permanent drop in funding per student during the last eight years, prompting Conservative backbencher Richard Graham MP to say that he feared that it is becoming the ‘Cinderella’ of education spending.
In the letter to the Chancellor signed by Julian, MPs made the point that if the UK is to compete successfully in the post-Brexit international arena it is important that we invest in ensuring that our current and future workforce have the skills that employers need. According to the University and Colleges Employers Association the uptake of qualifications for health and social care workers fell from 692,000 to 219,000 during the last ten years, a drop of 68%. As Ofsted have stated in their most recent annual report, it is unlikely that these structural problems can be addressed without an increase in the base rate funding for this age group.