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Parliament will debate College Funding Petition #LoveOurColleges

Parliament will debate “Increase college funding to sustainable levels – all students deserve equality!” 

Even though this petition didn’t reach 100,000 signatures, the Committee will still consider it for a debate. The debate is scheduled for 21 January 2019.

Students from Brockenhurt College started the petition to push for more funding during last year’s Colleges Week:

“We call on the Government to urgently increase college funding to sustainable levels, including immediate parity with recently announced increases to schools funding.

“This will give all students a fair chance, give college staff fair pay and provide the high-quality skills the country needs.”

Because their petition hit more than 10,000 signatures the government had to respond to it. Here is the Government response to their petition (2 Nov 18) :

We are funding priorities in further education including new T Levels, and looking at the needs of colleges ahead of the Spending Review. However colleges are not in scope for school pay arrangements.

This government is aware of the funding pressures in Further Education and is currently assessing the funding and sustainability of colleges.

We plan to invest nearly £7 billion this academic year to make sure there is a place in education or training, including for apprenticeships, for every 16- to 19-year-old. We have also protected the base rate of funding for 16-19 year olds until 2020. We will introduce our new gold standard T Levels from 2020, and will provide an additional £500m every year once they are fully rolled out.

In addition, we have announced extra support for key priorities. We will provide additional funding to support institutions to grow participation in level 3 maths – an extra £600 for every additional student – with two payments of £600 if, for example, they are studying A level maths over two years. The first of these payments will be made in 2019/20. We have also approved £300m of Restructuring Funding for colleges, of which £150m has been spent so far.

Alongside our investment in 16-19 education and training, the Department for Education was allocated £1.5 billion for the Adult Education Budget (AEB) for each year of the Spending Review period up to 2020, as set out in the 2015 Spending Review.

We recently announced a pay settlement for school teachers and a specific grant to support this. However, FE colleges and sixth form colleges have a different status when compared with schools and academies, as private sector institutions independent of the government. Therefore, we are considering the needs of FE providers separately.

We will continue to look carefully at funding for Further Education in preparation for the next Spending Review.

The Petitions Committee have looked at this petition and its response. They can press the government for action and gather evidence. Petitions that reach 100,000 signatures are considered for debate in parliament.

The Committee is made up of 11 MPs, from political parties in government and in opposition. It is entirely independent of the Government. 

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