News Date: Wednesday 22nd April 2009
Concern raised over Government cuts to local schools and colleges
Double whammy of cuts to sixth form funding and to colleges’ building programmes
Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, this week demanded that Government Ministers reassure schools and colleges across West Sussex, facing cuts to their funding because of Whitehall blundering.
Sixth form cuts: After telling schools and sixth form colleges how much funding they would receive next year for teaching 16-18 year olds, the Learning and Skills Council, a government quango suddenly changed its mind. It failed to predict the number of students accurately. It has now cut school budgets across the country by up to £350,000 for sixth form colleges and £55,000 for an average school. Tim is demanding action to ensure that local schools and sixth form colleges in West Sussex will not have to turn away students next year because of this gross bureaucratic incompetence.
College building cuts: This latest catastrophe comes just weeks after the Government froze 144 further education college building projects, including Worthing College. Tim is calling on the Government to come clean about what will happen to these projects.
Together, these Government blunders could deprive thousands of young people of the opportunity to study.
“Just a month after reassuring schools that they would be fully funded, the Government has pulled the rug from under their feet. Because of Whitehall incompetence, schools and colleges are being forced to turn away thousands of sixth formers who are desperate to learn and acquire the qualifications they need to succeed.
“Further education colleges have also been plunged into financial turmoil by having their building projects frozen. This is yet more proof that the Labour Government is failing to deliver and can’t be trusted with taxpayers’ money.”