Penistone MP offers support to the ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign
Angela Smith MP has lent her support to a national campaign which celebrates the positive impact of colleges and calls for fairer funding.
‘Love Our Colleges’ highlights the vital role that colleges play in local communities and the economy and the need for proper investment in the further education sector and fairer pay for FE staff.
The national campaign, backed by The Sheffield and Barnsley Colleges, launched this week during Colleges Week - which takes place from October 15th to 19th.
Angela Foulkes, Chief Executive and Principal of The Sheffield College, members of the governing body, trade union representatives and staff met MPs in Parliament today, October 17th, as part of a national day of lobbying.
Angela said: “Every year further education colleges transform the lives of over 2.2 million students. At The Sheffield College we are proud to be an integral part of our community; we teach, train and develop the skills of over 13,000 students every year and prepare them for their future careers and to be the workforce that our region needs.”
She added: “FE changed my life and over the past 25 years I have been proud to work in a sector that has changed countless other lives and launched many, many amazing careers. We are a vital part of the education sector. The ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign highlights that we need fairer funding for our sector, so that we can continue to transform lives, and fair pay for our amazing staff so that they can continue with our great work.”
Angela , said:
“As a former further education teacher I can vouch for what a great job our further education colleges do. They prepare youngsters for the world of work or higher education, they give people a second chance, helping them either into work or move on to next step. All of which can have positive effects on the communities they are based in and serve.”
She added: “It takes investment though if we want these people to succeed and for too long further education has been treated as the Cinderella of the sector by government. If we want a thriving further education sector this has to change and that’s why I am happy to lend my support to the ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign.”
The Association of Colleges is spearheading the campaign in partnership with the National Union of Students, Association of College and School Leaders, University and Colleges Union, Unison, GMB, TUC and National Education Union.
According to research by the Association of Colleges, college funding nationally has dropped by around 30% from 2009 to 2019. A national petition started by FE students is gathering pace. Visit https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/229744 .
The campaign, which is attracting support from colleges across the country, is calling on the government to increase funding for 16-19-year-olds by 5% a year for the next five years and to provide exceptional funding, ring-fenced for teacher pay. It is also calling for greater investment in adult education.