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Education Secretary quizzed on FE funding.

Education Secretary quizzed on FE funding.

Labour MP James Frith says his local colleges' experiences of funding cuts are different from the situation described by education secretary Justine Greening

Education secretary Justine Greening is living in an “alternative reality” over funding for FE colleges, according to a Labour MP.

James Frith, the MP for Bury North, was addressing Ms Greening at the House of Commons Education Select Committee hearing in Parliament today – presided over by the new committee chair, former skills minister Robert Halfon. Mr Frith said that almost £2 million in funding had been cut from his two local FE colleges – £1.3 million from Bury College, and £600,000 from Holy Cross College – during the last three years, while funding remained comparably higher in secondary schools and higher education.

“In Bury, Bury College and Holy Cross [College] in the last three years have lost £2 million in funding," Mr Frith said. "Can you explain the logic behind the difference for post-16 education compared to [secondary schools], which is about 21 per cent? The difference is 48 per cent when comparing FE to HE – and there’s a massive 70 per cent when you compare Holy Cross and Bury College and colleges like them with the independent [school] sector on funding."

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