Further Education funding crisis threatens Derbyshire colleges

The Further Education funding crisis was the topic of discussion when Toby Perkins visited Chesterfield College last week.

Toby met with Principal, Julie Richards, to discuss the challenges the College faces if the funding for 16-19 years old education is not increased.

Toby said, “Julie and her team are doing a fantastic job and providing high quality education under difficult circumstances. However, the Government’s current funding formula for colleges is unfair and unsustainable. I have written to the Chancellor ahead of his Autumn Budget Statement to urge him to listen to the recommendations of the Association of Colleges and provide fairer funding for further education.”

The Government currently spends 4.3% of GDP on education and training, which is expected to fall at a time when student numbers are increasing. Per-pupil funding for 16-18-year-olds is 22% lower than the funding for 5 to 16-year-olds. The Government’s apprenticeship levy on businesses, introduced earlier this year, has also seen apprenticeship new starts reduce by 61% across England & Wales, placing further pressures on colleges.

Toby with Chesterfield College Principal, Julie Richards

Toby with Chesterfield College Principal, Julie Richards

Toby added, “There are many students who may have struggled in a school environment who then flourish once they are in college. If funding for further education is not increased it could push colleges to the brink, reduce course provision, increase the skills gap and mean the Government cannot deliver the 3 million apprenticeships they promised.”

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I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries in Chesterfield and Staveley so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

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