Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has called for an increase in the support offered to students aged 16 to 19.
Funding allocated specifically for 16 to 19 has been frozen in cash terms since 2013 despite rising inflation and cost increases faced by colleges across the UK. The UK lags behind other countries in offering only 15 hours per week of teaching for 16 to 19, compared to Canada (26) and Singapore (27).
The Association of Colleges and others see this underfunding as a barrier to social mobility as independent schools increase their fees when students reach 16 whereas state-funded colleges receive decreased per-student funding compared to secondary school and the Higher Education sector.
Jeff said: “Education and training are vital both to an individual’s life chances and our economy’s productivity.
Colleges should be places where students get high-quality education that prepares them for the world of work but instead this Government has underfunded these institutions in recent years.
I’m joining MPs from all parties in calling for more funding and support to be given to colleges so that all 16 to 19 year olds get the tools they need to succeed.”