21st January 2019
A petition that has been signed by around 70,000 people will now be debated in Parliament on Monday 21 January.
The petition ‘Increase college funding to sustainable levels - all students deserve equality!’ was launched during a national campaign called #LoveOurColleges involving colleges up and down the country last October. Alumni of Barking & Dagenham College, including Shaun Escoffery, the Lion King actor, posted messages of support on social media.
The key points that colleges are putting forward are:
- Further education is the only part of the education budget to have had year-on-year cuts since 2010.
- Funding for adult education has been cut by 62% over this period, and the last decade has seen total enrolments for adults drop from 5.1m to 1.9m.
- Meanwhile, funding for students aged 16 to 18 has been cut by 8% in real terms since 2010.
Yvonne Kelly, Principal & CEO of Barking & Dagenham College commented:
“Colleges such as ours educate about two thirds of all our 16-18 year olds. It cannot make sense for students that funding drops off so starkly from the age of 16, as well as for adult education. I am pleased that this debate is putting college funding in the spotlight and hope that it will be a catalyst for change.”