12th October 2018
During ‘Colleges Week’ (15th-19th October) York College is supporting a national campaign, led by the Association of Colleges, aimed at raising the profile of Further Education and getting the government to boost funding in the sector.
The campaign’s message; ‘Love Our Colleges’ promotes the wonderful work that goes on in Colleges nationally. Whether through top-class technical education, basic skills or lifelong learning, colleges train 2.2 million people each year, helping people of all ages and backgrounds to make the most of their talents and ambitions. Rooted in local communities, Colleges are crucial in driving social mobility and providing the skills to boost local and regional economies.
York College plays a vital role in York and North Yorkshire, supporting thousands of students to learn, to train for a chosen career and progress to impressive destinations to achieve their goals. Says Principal, Dr Alison Birkinshaw: “We are supporting the campaign for fair funding for colleges because we believe that it is important to make sure we can provide a broad curriculum for our students, and invest in the staff and resources we need to provide outstanding education and training for all sectors of our community.”
The campaign is a partnership between the Association of Colleges (AoC), National Union of Students (NUS), Association of College and School Leaders (ASCL), University and Colleges Union (UCU), Unison, GMB, TUC and National Education Union (NEU), and incorporates a national lobby of Parliament on Wednesday 17th October.
David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges, says: “There is currently a reduction in education funding once a student turns 16 – whether they are in a school sixth form or a college. ‘Love Our Colleges’ calls on government to increase 16-19 funding by 5% a year for 5 years. It is also asking the Department for Education to provide exceptional funding, ring-fenced for teacher pay.
“Our young people are being short-changed compared with their counterparts in other countries and compared with previous generations. The hours of teaching and support, the choice they have and the enrichment they are offered have all reduced as funding cuts have bitten. This cannot continue if we are to secure the future of our nation.
“Every single day colleges like York College provide a world class education and transform the lives of millions of people. Colleges Week is an opportunity to celebrate the brilliant things that happen in colleges and it’s a chance to showcase the wonderful staff that make it possible. It is simple, if we want a world-class education system then we need to properly invest in it.”
York College Principal, Dr Alison Birkinshaw, was interviewed by That's York TV - she explains why the Further Education sector needs more funding:
As part of Colleges' Week, staff and students at York College are encouraging people to sign the national parliamentary petition for increased college funding.
Be sure to sign the petition to support the cause, 10,000 signatures are needed to get a debate in Westminster.