East Yorkshire Constituency Labour Party column with Mike Cooper

Places of learning, such as the East Riding College, must be properly funded by the Government.
Places of learning, such as the East Riding College, must be properly funded by the Government.

Earlier this year, East Yorkshire Constituency Labour Party highlighted the urgent financial plight of Further Education (FE) and Sixth Form Colleges, particularly those that serve communities in rural areas such as East Yorkshire.

Since then, significant Government-led reports have been issued, including one published on 19th July by the Parliamentary Education Select Committee.

These reports have highlighted the need for not only a significant cash injection, but a ‘ten year plan’ that will enable college staff, managers and governors to meet the future needs of post-16 learners across their region in a sensible and properly resourced way.

The case for increasing funding to the FE sector, including provision for students with special education needs and/or disabilities, has been well made by all political parties and by the organisations that represent the sector.

Easy access to properly resourced education facilities will help learners and employers to meet the changing needs of the local and national economies and provide wider educational opportunities to post-16 learners of all ages.

In his first address to the Commons as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson pledged to ‘invest now in further education and skills’.

His new education secretary Gavin Williamson, who studied at Scarborough Sixth Form College, has been given this task as ‘a priority’.

An East Yorkshire Constituency Labour Party spokesman commented: “This pledge must be delivered, or they will be betraying once again a generation of learners who rely on colleges for their futures.

“We must make ‘lifelong learning’ a reality and not just a campaign slogan.

“We will now be watching you, Boris and Gavin.”