Core funding? Stop, hammer time…

19th October 2018, 12:00am
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Tes Editorial

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Core funding? Stop, hammer time…

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/core-funding-stop-hammer-time

Last week, representatives of many aspects of FE grabbed their hammers and smashed the nail firmly on the head of one of the major problems with our sector's lack of funding.

The white-elephant issue of core funding was highlighted repeatedly during a Commons Education Select Committee session on FE funding.

But what I found most interesting was that a number of commentators identified something that has troubled me ever since I started working in FE.

It seems to me like there has always been an almost constant campaign of gaslighting with regards to core funding within FE. Instead of tackling the issue, focus is continually shifted to "new" and "innovative" initiatives which, ironically, get old fast.

I'm the cynical type and, being cynical, I'd suggest that this frequent introduction of the new might well be a symptom of not wanting to prioritise the very real financial problems of our sector.

Experimentation is OK. Innovation is OK. But don't mention the cash. Or if you do, make sure it's in reference to EXCITING NEW REVENUE STREAMS.

It all feels like a magician's trick - flash and smoke, but at the end of the show, FE's financial situation continues to decline in real terms.

Well done to those on the panel that refused to be gaslighted on the obvious problem that FE faces. What our students need is stability. A stability that comes from fair and proper funding.

Tom Starkey teaches English at a college in the North of England

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