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Lack of funds closes doors

The recent coverage of the financial difficulties facing students in further education, especially mature students, is most welcome (TES, October 14).

In adult guidance services across the country, questions regarding finance are presented by clients every day.

Mature students in rural areas share similar shortfalls in funding for equipment, exam fees and so on, but their costs for travel (in those areas where any is available) are huge.

Distance learning is often presented as an alternative for those without educational establishments nearby, but as there are virtually no reduced fees in this area of education it is not a viable option for the unemployed or low-waged.

Over the years I have welcomed the efforts made by local education authorities and further education colleges to widen access.

Having opened doors to adults, shutting them again because of finance does not seem a way to move towards meeting the National Education and Training Targets.

SUE DEMPSEY CLAYDON

Co-ordinator

Cambridgeshire Adult Guidance Service

Neale Wade Community Education Centre

Station Road

March

Cambridgeshire

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