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."