The Sheffield College backs national campaign for fairer funding

Chief executive and principal of The Sheffield College Angela Foulkes
Chief executive and principal of The Sheffield College Angela Foulkes

The Sheffield College is backing a national campaign which calls for fairer funding as staff and students prepare to lobby Government. 

The college has signed up to the Love Our Colleges campaign, highlighting work that education institutions across the country do as well is investment in the further education sector and fairer pay for staff.

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 five per cent a year for the next five years and to provide exceptional funding, ring-fenced for teacher pay.

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College leaders, staff, trade unions and students are preparing to lobby Parliament on October 17, as part of a week of activities for College Week, which runs from October 15 to 19.

Chief executive and principal of The Sheffield College Angela Foulkes has signed up to an online Colleges Week pledge to support the campaign and is attending a lobbying event in Parliament.

She said: “The Sheffield College has a significant positive impact on the city transforming lives and training students in the technical skills that the local economy needs, helping them go further in employment, careers and on to the next level course at college or university.”

She added: “The students, staff and communities that we serve are being short-changed compared with their counterparts in other countries and with previous generations.

“We want to see our students go further in their studies and their careers and see more government investment in further education, as well as fairer pay for our staff, to be able to continue the great work that we do.”

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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.

Chief executive of the Association of Colleges David Hughes said: “Every single day colleges like The Sheffield 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.”

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton, citing planned £500m annual investments to deliver T Levels, said the base rate of funding for 16 to 19-year-olds is protected.

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“However I am very aware of the funding pressures, ” she said. “The Education Secretary announced a further £38m so that colleges can invest in high quality equipment and facilities to support the roll out of T Levels.

“We will continue to look carefully at funding for the sector in preparation for the next Spending Review.”