Representatives from sixth-form and further education colleges in Hampshire lobbied MPs at Westminster this week in a bid to highlight a funding crisis in the county.
Officers from the National Union of Teachers and the lecturers' union, NATFHE, argued the case for increased funding for FE in the Government's forthcoming spending review at a meeting with 13 of the county's 17 MPs.
With 10 sixth-form colleges and 12 further education colleges, Hampshire has one of the highest concentrations of post-16 institutions in the country, and has been feeling the post-incorporation funding squeeze particularly keenly. Nigel Fox, secretary of the Hampshire NUT sixth-form college committee, said that unless more money was forthcoming, the possibility of merger and consequent job losses among the county's sixth-form and FE institutions could not be ruled out.
He said: "We are suffering the same sort of funding cuts as most other colleges but because of our high concentration of colleges we are particularly aware of the problems."