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Love Our Colleges

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The Love Our Colleges campaign is making the case for extra government funding to support fair pay and funding in further education.

The campaign is supported by UCU, Unison, Unite, GMB, NEU, NUS, TUC, ASCL and the Association of Colleges.

How can I support the campaign?

The campaign is holding a week of activity from 13 - 17 May 2019. You can support the Love Our Colleges campaign by:

  • Tweeting using the #LoveOurColleges hashtag to say why you think the government should invest more in colleges and their staff and students
  • Write to your local MP (you can use this draft text:  FE funding MP letter May 2019 [419kb]) and ask them to:
    • raise the issue of college pay and funding at Treasury questions on Tuesday 21st May (they will need to submit their question by Wednesday 17th May)
    • sign Early Day Motion 1686
    • push for a debate in parliament on the issue of college pay and funding

Background to the campaign

Further education colleges are an essential part of England's education system. Whether it's through top-class technical education, basic skills or lifelong learning, colleges help people of all ages and backgrounds to make the most of their talents and ambitions. Rooted in local communities, they are crucial in driving social mobility and providing the skills to boost local and regional economies.

From 2009 to 2019, college funding has been cut by around 30%. This drop in funding has led to:

  • fewer hours of teaching and support for young people
  • a drastic reduction in the number of learning opportunities for adults
  • the value of staff pay falling by over 25% since 2009
  • college teachers earning £7,000 less on average than school teachers.

This situation is not sustainable and ultimately impacts on college students and staff, businesses, communities and the wider economy.

We held a week of action from 15-19 October, including a national lobby of parliament on 17 October 2018.

What we are calling for

Trade unions, students and college leaders are coming together to call for better funding and fair pay for further education colleges.

We are calling on the government to:

  1. increase college funding to sustainable levels, including but not limited to:
    • Increasing the 16-19 funding rate by 5% a year for the next five years, and extending the pupil premium to cover post-16 students
    • Fully funding a National Retraining Scheme to support level 3 to 5 skills
    • Introducing a lifetime learning entitlement to fund skills training for all adults who have not previously achieved a level 3 qualification.
  2. provide immediate exceptional funding, ring-fenced for pay, to cover the costs of a fair pay deal for college staff from 2018/19 onwards.

Read the  Love Our Colleges manifesto [752kb] for more information.

More information

If you have any questions about the Love Our Colleges campaign please contact Jenny Sherrard


Last updated: 10 May 2019