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Labour pledge to raise college funding

COLLEGES will see funding raised to match levels in school sixth forms, Labour hinted this week at the launch of its education manifesto.

Labour pledges that if returned to power it will "guarantee the real-terms funding of pupils in school sixth forms if student numbers are maintained and bring up the funding for sixth-form and FE colleges."

The guarantees for schools have been spelled out before. But ministers had shied away from pledges to bring-up colleges levels to meet them.

The party also promised a pound;1.5bn adult and basic skills package over the next three years, with a committent to "reform further education and improve basic skills of 750,000 adults."

Much of the document is a rehash of the 2001-4 spending commitments announced in the July 2000 spending review and policies announced in autumn 2000 and spring 2001.

Labour re-emphasises the commitment to develop "dedicated colleges for under 19s" and "specialist adult provision". And in its programme of excellence for all - with emphasis on the most deprived - it promises summer schools, mentoring support and extra bursaries for young people from the most disadvantaged families to study at university.

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