I rise to present this petition on behalf of more than 500 students and staff from Darlington College in my constituency who are demanding fair funding for further education.
Colleges build communities. They help young people to fulfil their potential, discover new talents and realise their ambitions. Colleges drive social mobility. They are the heart of local economic growth and provide the workforce needed for local businesses to thrive. For many, they are a springboard towards a bright and prosperous future, but a recent calculation by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that spending on further education has been cut in real terms by more than £3 billion since 2010-11. Because of that, we now see fewer teaching hours, cuts to student support and stagnant wages for teachers and support staff. That harms outcomes for students, reduces opportunities and is bad for my whole community. The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to
“provide fair funding for further education and fair pay for college staff”
in the interests of student performance, educational outcomes and community prosperity.
Following is the full text of the petition:
[The petition of residents of the United Kingdom,
Declares that while participation in full-time education has more than doubled over the past 30 years, it is reported that spending per student in further education is 8% lower than in secondary schools; further that colleges over the last decade have dealt with an average 30% cut to funding as costs continue to increase; further that this has resulted in a drastic drop in learning opportunities available to students, fewer teaching hours and support for young people, and staff pay; further that the situation is not sustainable and ultimately impacts on student performance; further that 547 staff and students from Darlington College have signed a similar petition to the government regarding further education funding.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the government to provide fair funding for further education and fair pay for college staff in the interest for student performance and educational outcomes.
And the petitioners remain, etc.]