Paul Scully MP helping raise awareness for Colleges Week and the importance of Lifelong Learning

10 October 2018

Paul Scully, local MP for Sutton and Cheam will visit Sutton College next week as part of Colleges Week.

Colleges Week takes place from Monday 15 October to Friday 19 October 2018 and is part of the ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign and sees colleges across the country hosting events to showcase the brilliant stuff they do, day in and day out, as well as national lobby of Parliament will take place on Wednesday 17 October.

The ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign is a partnership between Association of Colleges (AoC), National Union of Students (NUS), Association of College and School Leaders (ASCL), University and Colleges Union (UCU), Unison, GMB, TUC and National Education Union (NEU).

Whether it’s through top-class technical education, basic skills or lifelong learning, colleges help people of all ages and backgrounds to make the most of their talents and ambitions. Rooted in local communities, they are crucial in driving social mobility and providing the skills to boost local and regional economies.

However, there is currently a reduction in education funding once a student turns 16 – whether they are in a school sixth form or a college. ‘Love Our Colleges’ is calling on government to increase 16-19 funding by 5% a year for 5 years.

It is also asking Department for Education to provide exceptional funding, ring-fenced for teacher pay.

Dipa Ganguli, Principal at Sutton College, said: ‘There needs to be a rebalancing of the budget at national level to invest in the skills of people who will contribute to the economy of the nation. Only 7% of  the post 19 budget is spent on those below Level 2 qualifications – with further reductions and real time cuts, providers are struggling to meet the demands of the community and deliver quality provision for those most in need.  Funding for adult learning has to be a Government priority because to engage more adults into learning a national culture in which adult learning is an ordinary part of life has to be cultivated.  Only then the shortcomings of an education system can be redressed and learning for life valued.’

David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges, said: “Every single day colleges like Sutton College provide a world class education and transform the lives of millions of people.Colleges Week is an opportunity to celebrate the brilliant things that go on and a chance to showcase the brilliant staff that make it possible.  It is simple, if we want a world-class education system then we need to properly invest in it.”

 

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