165 MPs back letter calling on chancellor to up FE funding

While school and university budgets had been protected, colleges have seen their funding cut in real terms, says letter

Julia Belgutay

A letter backed by 165 MPs is calling for chancellor Philip Hammond to increase funding for the FE sector

A letter calling for more funding for FE and backed by 165 MPs has been handed to chancellor Philip Hammond.

The letter, co-authored by Conservative MP Richard Graham and Labour MP Nic Dakin and supported by 165 MPs from four parties, states that while government policy had protected the incomes of schools and universities, colleges had been dealt an average real-terms funding cut of 30 per cent over the past 10 years.

It added that the chancellor’s departmental spending review was a chance to announce an above-inflation increase that would boost skills, productivity and social mobility.

Colleges 'are engines of social mobility'

Mr Dakin said: "From my years as a college principal, I know how important this issue is. Our colleges are the engines of social mobility, transforming the prospects of our young people and delivering the skills our local businesses want. It is vital that the government invests in our colleges."

Association of Colleges chief executive David Hughes said: "There is now very strong cross-party support for the 2.2 million people who study and train in FE colleges each year. It’s vital the government helps those tasked with helping to solve the skills gap."

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Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay is head of FE at Tes

Find me on Twitter @JBelgutay

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