The Isle of Wight College is proud to support Colleges Week, a sector-wide manifesto for better funding and fair pay in further education.
Further education colleges are an essential part of England’s education system. Whether it’s through top-class technical education, basic skills or lifelong learning, colleges help people of all ages and backgrounds to make the most of their talents and ambitions. Rooted in local communities, they are crucial in driving social mobility and providing the skills to boost local and regional economies.
Colleges matter – to their students, their staff and their local communities. But for too long the vital work they do has been overlooked and underfunded.
That is why trade unions, students and colleges are coming together to call for better funding and fair pay for further education colleges.
Why is funding an issue?
From 2009 to 2019, college funding has been cut by around 30%.
This drop in funding has led to:
- Fewer hours of teaching and support for young people
- A drastic reduction in the number of learning opportunities for adults
- The value of staff pay falling by over 25% since 2009
- College teachers earning £7,000 less on average than school teachers.
This situation is not sustainable and ultimately impacts on college students and staff, businesses, communities and the wider economy.
What would additional funding pay for?
Colleges need a fair funding settlement to ensure they can continue to play their crucial role in our education system and provide the high-quality skills provision our country needs.
Additional funding would help colleges to:
- Recruit and retain more specialist teachers and support staff
- Effectively implement technical education reforms
- Maintain academic standards
- Support all students to develop literacy and numeracy skills.
Calling On The Government
We are calling on the government to:
- Increase college funding to sustainable levels, including but not limited to:
- Increasing the 16-19 funding rate by 5% a year for the next five years, and extending the pupil premium to cover post-16 students.
- Fully funding a National Retraining Scheme to support level 3 to 5 skills
- Introducing a lifetime learning entitlement to fund skills training for all adults who have not previously achieved a level 3 qualification.
- Provide immediate exceptional funding, ring-fenced for pay, to cover the costs of a fair pay deal for college staff from 2018/19 onwards.
Visit www.collegesweek.co.uk to learn more.