Thursday, 22 November 2012

Further Education debate must concentrate on cuts not confusion says college union

Thursday 22 Nov 2012

UNISON, the union representing college support staff, today issued a plea for the Scottish Parliament debate on Further Education ( FE)  to concentrate on “The real issue of cuts to college places and college services”, rather than  a political bunfight  over who said what to whom.

The union pointed out that the teaching grant to colleges - which includes the funding for the vast bulk of the staff is declining by 35%.  This is having an impact on students and colleges across the board 

Cuts are impacting on courses, on availability and the quality of education provided. Courses being cut across Scotland include vocational courses like aeronautical and aircraft engineering, computer animation, digital gaming, green-keeping, and horticulture.

The focus on young and full time students is being maintained at the expense of other potential students. This is impacting particularly on women, mature returners to learning and carers.

There is a particular decline in support services such as career guidance and counselling, which are important in ensuring that students complete and make the most of  courses

Speaking ahead of the debate, Chris Greenshields,  chair of UNISON’s Further Education Committee said

“For our members this is about far more than who said what to whom. We hope Parliament  will concentrate not on what has been said in Holyrood - but in what is happening in our colleges. Across Scotland, key services to students are being cut back or removed  - that’s if they can manage to get a course in the first place.”        

Notes to editors
Previous UNISON Publications on current aspects of Further Education

College regionalisation response

Examples of problems with mergers

FE governance response

Post 16 education response

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