Daniel Zeichner MP asked his first question to the Prime Minister today.
Speaking in the packed Commons chamber the Cambridge MP quizzed the Prime Minister on Sixth Form College funding saying: “Our Sixth Form Colleges do a great job – but they are not protected by the education ring-fence. The average sixth former has lost almost 20% of their funding over the last five years. Some have lost as much as 30 per cent. What has the Prime Minister got against Sixth Form Colleges?”
While many parts of the education sector have faced funding reductions in recent years, Sixth Form Colleges have experienced deeper cuts to their budgets than any other group of institutions and Mr Zeichner says the Sixth Form Colleges Association have raised serious concerns with him.
Now the Government’s decision not to protect the 16-19 education budget from spending cuts means that further funding reductions are highly likely. The Government has also shown little appetite to address the funding inequalities that exist between Sixth Form Colleges that must pay VAT and school/academy sixth forms that have VAT reimbursed by the government.
Daniel Zeichner MP said: “Sixth Form Colleges are too often the forgotten provider of post 16 education and their budgets have been pared to the bone. Cambridge has first class sixth form colleges in Hills Road and Long Road but past success could be put at risk by Tory underfunding.”