Bulwell MP’s concern over cuts

Bulwell MP Graham Allen has called for a delay in the implementation of a new scheme that he says will make it tougher for youngsters to go on to further education.

Mr Allen says that the Government, via the Education Funding Agency, has announced cuts to the local further education college budgets, with £1m going from NCN courses for young people.

He said: “I have over 1,500 young people in my constituency who are long term unemployed and now their chances of getting the skills they need are undermined.

“Nottingham North sends the fewest number of young people to university of any constituency in England, so our further education colleges have a high demand for Post 16 educational services.”

He said that five out of six 18 year olds were studying in further education colleges.

Mr Allen added: “Taking money out of places like Basford Hall will mean less skills, and more dole payments. Just as Basford Hall gets a rebuild, it will be forced to offer less to local young people.

“The reason why so many more 18 year old students are in colleges is that further education is the main provider for the disadvantaged, the second chance for many. In Nottingham North we are looking for more financial support not less.”

Mr Allen believes that the cuts will have more impact on pupils taking vocational qualifications, and specifically sees a 17.5 per cent cut in funding for 18 year olds in full time education.

Mr Allen added: “This proposal does not appear to have been well considered and I have asked that its implementation at the very least be delayed and subject to proper impact analysis.”

He has now written to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, outlining his concerns.