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Rural colleges pledge

Government ministers have come under pressure from MSPs in all parties to do more for colleges serving rural areas. During a parliamentary debate last week on the role of FE in supporting economic recovery, a Conservative amendment was supported by the Liberal Democrats and Labour following the recent allocation by the Scottish Funding Council of the Government's extra pound;28 million to help colleges respond to the recession. It was roundly criticised by the Scottish Rural Colleges Network for ignoring their needs. Keith Brown, the Minister for Schools and Skills, pointed out that the draft budget for 2010-11 proposed an additional pound;45m for FE, but gave an assurance that ministers would "take on board" the concerns of rural colleges.

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