Gloucester’s MP Richard Graham summarised the debate in his name on Further Education funding by saying to some 50 MPs and the Skills Minister that this was a campaign for Fairer Funding for colleges.
‘Let’s get the right resources’ he said ‘for these national engines of skills, aspiration and social mobility.’
Further, Richard had highlighted the opportunity of the summer Spending Review, and then Budget, to give colleges an inflation (or real terms) increase in funds. This would allow FE colleges to attract quality teachers, provide more teaching, ensure mental health and resilience support, increase the numbers of STEM classes and apprenticeships, increase staff salaries and reduce turnover.
Richard Graham pointed out ‘Further Education is the only stage of education where funding has fallen in real terms, and in my opinion, is the most deserving of greater funding. An above inflation increase to FE funding is needed to ensure FE attracts and retains the best staff, the range of subjects continues to increase, and we must tackle the shortage in STEM skills.’
Notes to editors
- The Association of Colleges claims that over the last decade, total college income in England has fallen by £1 billion and now totals £6.7 billion. This is a real-terms reduction of more than 25%, relative to primary, secondary and Higher Education funding.
- According to the OECD, currently the UK ranks in the bottom quartile for Level 4 & 5 technical skills.
- Richard also met Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss along with Labour MP Nic Dakin to discuss FE funding