Chancellor needs to dig deeper to solve funding crisis in further education

31 August 2019

UCU said a £400m funding pledge from the chancellor for further education fell 'well short' of reversing government cuts and restoring college budgets to 2010 levels.

The union said any money was to be welcomed after further education had been hit hardest by government cuts and, that after years of real-terms pay cuts for college staff, money must be used to close the £7,000 pay gap between school teachers and college teachers.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'Today's funding announcement comes after months of tireless campaigning by trade unions and the further education sector. It is crucially important that colleges use this funding wisely; staff have borne the brunt of cuts in recent years and closing the £7,000 pay gap between school and college teachers must be the top priority for spending. 

'Any funding is to be welcomed, but we need to be clear that it falls well short of the £3bn needed to restore college budgets to their 2010 levels. It is particularly disappointing that there is no additional funding for adult education, which has seen its budget slashed by over 45% in real terms this decade. The government must dig deeper if it wants to ensure our colleges can deliver transformative education for all those who would benefit.'

Last updated: 25 September 2019