LEADERS from Tameside's sixth form colleges are to be invited to meet government ministers to discuss cuts in funding, after Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds raised the issue in Parliament.
Currently colleges receive ‘entitlement funding' to support non-academic activities, such as careers guidance, tutorials and extra-curricular courses.
But in December colleges were told the funding - directed through the Young People's Learning Agency - would be cut.
College principals have highlighted their concerns about the impact the loss of the funding will have in the student experience. And earlier this week Mr Reynolds raised the issue with John Hayes, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, in Parliament.
Raising the issue, he said: "Sixth form colleges currently receive entitlement funding through the Young People's Learning Agency. "Colleges in my area face a 74% reduction in such funding, which they use to fund pastoral support, careers advice, sport, music, trips and visits-all the things that can fire aspiration and the imagination of young people.
"Will the Minister look at that again and meet me and someone from my local college, as I do not think Ministers quite realise the impact of their decision in this area?"
In reply, the Minister agreed to meet with Jonathan and representatives from the colleges. And he said: "He knows, as does the whole House, that I am a champion for sixth form colleges and FE colleges, and I would be happy to make that clearer when we meet."
Mr Reynolds will be pressing the minister for a meeting at the earliest possible opportunity.
Published on March 28, 2011