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MP and councillor join Institute to back fairer funding for FE

We are delighted to welcome the support of Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers and North East Lincolnshire Council (NELC) in the fight for fairer funding for further education.

Mr Vickers joined Cllr Kathryn Wheatley, Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People at NELC, at the Institute to meet with Chief Executive Gill Alton ahead of Colleges Week this week.

They also met with members of our senior team in support of the campaign, as well as young learners from courses including Uniformed Public Services and Childcare.

Part of the ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign, Colleges Week is running from Monday, October 15 to Friday, October 19, and will see organisations up and down the country showcasing the work they do.

There will also be a national lobby of Parliament on October 17, as colleges call on government to increase 16-19 funding by 5% per year for five years. This is due to a reduction in education funding once a student turns 16, whether they are at a school sixth form or college.

The campaign, which is a partnership between organisations including Association of Colleges (AoC), National Union of Students (NUS), Association of College and School Leaders (ASCL), Unison, GMB and TUC, is also asking the Department for Education to provide exceptional funding, ring-fenced for teacher pay.

“In the last 10 years, college funding has been cut by around 30%,” said Institute CEO Gill. “This has led to a drastic reduction in the number of learning opportunities for adults and highly qualified college teachers earn £7,000 less on average than school teachers.

“This cannot be right or fair and “Colleges Week” aims to campaign for a fair funding settlement to ensure we can continue to provide the high quality skills provision the region needs.”

Backing the campaign, Mr Vickers said: “Various governments have had to make numerous difficult decisions over the last eight years, and I do recognise the focus has not always been on further education colleges.

“Governments always have to prioritise, which has resulted in colleges falling behind in the last few years, however I will absolutely do my bit to support the campaign.

“The Institute is very important in the Grimsby and Cleethorpes area and very much in need, giving younger people a lift and raising their aspirations.”

Also adding her support, Cllr Wheatley said: “I’m very happy to be here today supporting the campaign for fairer funding for further education.

“I think that the Grimsby Institute is a gift for us here in North East Lincolnshire and it’s absolutely vital that the ability to fund all of the courses continues.”

David Hughes, Chief Executive of Association of Colleges, said colleges are crucial in driving social mobility and providing the skills to boost local and regional economies.

“Every single day colleges like the Grimsby Institute provide a world class education and transform the lives of millions of people.

“Colleges Week is an opportunity to celebrate the brilliant things that go on and a chance to showcase the brilliant staff that make it possible.  It is simple, if we want a world-class education system then we need to properly invest in it.”