Between 15 –19 October 2018, colleges across the nation will be joining together to support College’s Week as part of the Love Our Colleges campaign. The campaign sees colleges across the country, along with education unions and students, hosting and getting involved in events to showcase the brilliant stuff they do, as well as to raise awareness of the funding challenges that colleges face. The week is focused around a national lobby of Parliament on Wednesday 17 October.
Why do we need this?
From 2009 to 2019, college funding has been cut by roughly 30%. The funding drop has led to:
- Fewer hours of teaching to support students;
- A massive reduction in the number of opportunities for adults;
- The value of staff pay falling by over 25% since 2009;
- College teachers earning £7000 less on average than school teachers.
Ultimately these effects have negative implications on students, businesses, communities and the wider economy.
What are we doing?
At Leicester College, we are in full support and our principal Verity Hancock will be attending the march in Westminster on Wednesday 17 October accompanied by our student union president and members the governors’ team for the college. We will also be promoting the campaign through our social media channels and providing information throughout the week.
Verity Hancock – Principal of Leicester College had this to say;
“The Colleges’ Week campaign is extremely important. I have seen the detrimental effects of the cuts on the College, our staff and students. Over the last decade colleges, including Leicester College, have had to deal with an average 30% funding cut, whilst costs have increased dramatically.
“When a student reaches 16, funding for their education drops by 24%. This creates its own challenges and can be incredibly frustrating. Is this really the level of investment that we think our future engineering, construction, computing. hospitality and many other students deserve?
“Our staff get paid on average nearly a third less than those working in schools and have had no significant pay increase for several years. These dedicated educators who are passionate about enhancing the skills of our students deserve equal pay for the same hard work they do. This situation is not sustainable and ultimately impacts upon students, businesses, communities and the wider economy, as we lose valuable teaching staff to other sectors.
“That is why unions, students and colleges are coming together, this week, to request fair funding because colleges matter – here in Leicester and across the country.”
“So please, reach out to your local MP, and tell them about the Love Our Colleges campaign. Spread the word on social media, sign the online petition and join the conversation. You could include:
- Why you are studying, or used to study, in college
- Why colleges are important – to students, to staff, to employers and to communities
- What you think the Government should do to support colleges in England.
“I will be joining the march in Westminster on Wednesday 17 October and look forward to making some noise!’
How can you get involved?
It is really important to show solidarity and raise awareness for these issues as they affect everyone in some way, even if it doesn’t directly affect you right now. You can sign a petition to register your support and you can attend the march at Westminster on Wednesday 17 October. Visit the Colleges’ Week website for more details and for material you can share onto your own social media sites.