Threats to limit access to learning for aspiring young people and working women should be top of new Education Secretary's in-tray.

AoC today welcomes the appointment of Ruth Kelly as Secretary of State for Education and Skills and asks her to pay urgent attention to the problems ahead for millions of students "“ most of them women "“ in local colleges.

Commenting on the appointment, Dr John Brennan, AoC Chief Executive said: "AoC welcomes Ms Kelly into her post and looks forward to working with her. We note in particular her commitment to "getting people back into jobs and opening up opportunities", which is precisely what local colleges do for their young and adult students. We hope she will look again at her Department's funding plans which threaten access to learning for millions of adults who depend on their local college to lift them onto the next stages of their careers. Women will be hit especially hard, forming as they do six in ten of our adult students."

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