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New analysis reveals extent of colleges at risk from government spending plans

10 November 2015 | last updated: 10 December 2015

UCU has today responded to analysis of adult education budgets published by the House of Commons library that suggests a third of further education colleges could be under threat.

UCU said further government cuts could be the final nail in many courses and would shut the door on many learners who use adult education as a springboard for improving their skills.

On the area reviews in further education the union stated that there is a danger that they could lead to a narrower curriculum and leave many students high and dry if their aspirations don't match local economic priorities.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'The current cuts to adult education budgets are a devastating blow to colleges and will change the face of further education in many parts of the country. Funding for adult skills has already fallen 35% since 2009, and the latest reductions could be the final nail in the coffin for some courses.  Not everyone needs or wants to study an apprenticeship, but colleges are being forced to prioritise apprenticeships over other kinds of learning. This will shut the door on many learners who use adult education as a springboard for improving their skills.

'On top of the reduction in budgets, the focus on rationalisation and efficiency through area reviews can only lead to a narrower curriculum and risks leaving many students high and dry if their aspirations don't match local economic priorities. Colleges need stable investment to continue to help people of all backgrounds fulfil their potential'

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