Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday 1 October, Daniel Zeichner MP called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to give Cambridge Regional College and Sixth Forms across the city the funding they need.
Mr Zeichner said colleges face a stark choice between raising class sizes or cutting the choice of subjects on offer after the recent “meagre” rise in funding announced by the Government. Colleges are set to receive £188 per pupil – well short of the £760 rise the “Raise the Rate” campaign group calculates is needed.
Cambridge Sixth Form colleges have been feeling the pinch after two deep cuts to further education funding were made after 2010.The funding rate has been frozen at £4,000 per pupil since 2013.
In the week prior to his intervention in the Commons, Mr Zeichner visited Hills Road Sixth Form College. He heard how the average class size has grown by two and that it now has to offer fewer subjects.
Daniel Zeichner MP commented: “Sixth Form funding is in crisis. The running costs of schools and colleges have increased sharply since 2010 and the government has imposed a range of new requirements on institutions. This has left much less money for colleges to spend on the front-line education of students. Our fantastic sixth form colleges in Cambridge, Hills Road and Long Road, and the sixth form provision at Parkside, Netherhall and CAST are all doing their best. But teachers need to be given the resources to do their jobs properly. Our hard-working and energetic young students deserve better than this paltry raise increase from the Government.”