West London College is joining the ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign, a national initiative that sees colleges across the country hosting events to showcase the brilliant stuff they do, day in and day out, as well as a national lobby of Parliament on Wednesday 17 October.
West London College is a vital part of the capital, supporting young people and adults to learn, train and achieve their career goals. Staff and students will be coming together from Monday 15 October to Friday 19 October to celebrate their achievements and call on the government to increase funding for post-16 education.
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 the 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.
Karen Redhead, Principal and CEO at West London College, said: “Our young people are being short-changed compared with their counterparts in other countries and compared with previous generations. The hours of teaching and support, the choice they have and the enrichment they are offered have all been reduced as funding cuts have bitten. This cannot continue if we are to secure the future of our nation. We are proud to support Colleges Week. The debate around post-16 funding is an opportunity to look across the education system and to highlight the vital role Further Education colleges play in helping students achieve their goals whether it is university, apprenticeships or employment. Cuts to funding result in a more restrictive curriculum, less support and fewer opportunities for our students. This cannot continue if we are to secure the future of our nation and support the development of a skilled workforce.”
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).
David Hughes, Chief Executive at the Association of Colleges, said: “Every single day colleges like West London 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.”