APPG asks for catch-up funds to be extended to colleges

MPs tell education secretary that they find it 'very hard to understand' why colleges were excluded from Covid 'catch-up' funding

Kate Parker

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The members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on sixth form education have written to education secretary Gavin Williamson and apprenticeships and skills minister Gillian Keegan to ask them to extend the Covid-19 catch-up fund to all 16- to 19-year-olds. 

The letter – signed by MPs Diana Johnson, Jason McCartney, Peter Aldous, Rachel Hopkins, Caroline Lucas, Caroline Nokes and William Wragg – says that the group finds it "very hard to understand" why post-16 learners have been excluded from the £1bn extra funding announced last week.

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More: £1bn catch-up plan shows FE is an afterthought, says Labour

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Last Friday, The Department for Education confirmed a £1 billion Covid-19 catch-up plan to tackle the impact of lost teaching time – however, the funding is for primary and secondary institutions only. 

At the time, Labour's shadow apprenticeships minister Toby Perkins said excluding FE was "a disgrace".

He told Tes: "If what they’ve done is that they will sort FE out once they’ve done 'the important stuff' from their perspective, then that’s still revealing what I feel and what many people feel is their attitude towards the FE sector."

There has been no announcement on any extra funding for the further education sector. This afternoon, apprenticeships and skills minister Gillian Keegan told Tes the government recognised that colleges "need to catch up", and it was "are working to see what we can give to make up for that disruption". 

The letter in full

APPG letter to GW

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Kate Parker

Kate Parker is a FE reporter.

Find me on Twitter @KateeParker

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