Why not invest in colleges that already exist?

1st April 2011 at 01:00

As principal of West Cheshire College, I would like to reassure Lord Baker that we do not ignore the development of English and maths for our vocational students ("Wolf's backing of vocational training is great, but she ducks the question of how much it will cost," 25 March).

These subjects are an important part of their learning programmes. It is particularly important to our college as only 5 per cent of the young people who come to us have a C or above at GCSE in English, maths and ICT.

We would love to be paid to teach them for 40 hours a week but, sadly, we are only funded to deliver 15 hours of learning a week, even to our most vulnerable learners.

We have worked hard to broaden the educational experience of our vocational learners, but the funding for next year has recently been cut from 114 hours to 30 hours and we are currently wondering how we can keep this extensive programme going.

West Cheshire College has opened a multi-million pound science and technology campus in Chester this month. It is well placed to deliver much of what Lord Baker wants with little or no additional capital expenditure.

I am not sure why, in these times of budget cuts, the Government is not considering this cost-effective option, rather than setting up new schools.

Sara Mogel, Principal, West Cheshire College.

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