Fighting fund banner


Love Our Colleges

New government white paper will not level up post-16 education

1 February 2022

New 'elite' sixth form colleges will divide 16 year olds into winners and losers said UCU.

The union was responding to the Westminster government's levelling up white paper, which includes plans to create 'elite' sixth form colleges and 'skills bootcamps' that prison learners will be able to access.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'The creation of new 'elite' sixth form colleges looks like it will do the opposite of levelling up, and will instead divide 16-year-olds into winners and losers. Instead of creating shiny new institutions, the government should be focusing resources on existing colleges so they can attract and retain the best teachers and close the growing pay gap between further education and schools.

'Any additional funding for skills bootcamps should be directed towards colleges and their staff - the proposals here appear more like a bung for employers. The success of any initiative to extend access to prisoners will rest on the involvement of prison educators who are best placed to determine the needs of the learners they work with.'


Last updated: 1 February 2022