West London College staff and students joined education unions and colleges from around the country on the streets of London to march and lobby in support of the ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign on Wednesday 17 October, during Colleges Week, calling on the government to increase funding for post-16 education.
Karen Redhead, Principal and CEO at West London College, visited Parliament with West London College UCU representatives and students for a day of lobbying. They met with Hammersmith & Fulham, Ealing and Southall MPs to discuss the important role Further Education plays in preparing the future UK’s workforce and to raise awareness of the funding challenges colleges face and how these cuts affect our students.
Wasim Mohammad, Engineering student, said: “I believe there are better opportunities for students in colleges to gain a recognised qualification and develop the practical and natural skills required to build a successful career, but cuts in funding have affected the availability of resources and the number of teaching hours at FE colleges, this has negative impacts on our development and gives us fewer opportunities to achieve our full potential.”
The rally ended in Parliament Square where hundreds of attendees stayed and chanted in support of colleges. There was a great turnout at the event which included a speech from the National Union of Students, Association of Colleges and Jeremy Corbyn in support of Further Education.
The ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign is a partnership between theAssociation 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).