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UCU response to IFS report on education funding

27 February 2017 | last updated: 17 March 2021

More investment in further education is urgently required to rebuild capacity in the sector, UCU said today.

The union was responding to the Institute for Fiscal Studies' report Long-Run Comparisons of Spending per Pupil across Different Stages of Education,which shows that further education is the only major education area to have seen its funding cut since 2010. It also shows that, despite public spending increasing by 93% overall since 1990, real terms spending on further education for 16-18 year olds has stayed broadly the same.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'This report shows that college spending per student at 16-18 has remained flat for 30 years while overall public spending has almost doubled. Colleges have faced a double whammy as budgets for adult education have also been cut heavily in recent years.

'The minister speaks warmly about further education as a priority area for government, but sadly the funding does not appear to match his enthusiasm. If the government really wants to send the message that further education is at the heart of high-level skills delivery, it must ensure that the sector is well supported to deliver. A good start would be to invest in 15,000 more teachers to build capacity in the sector and ensure that everyone who wants to access a college education can do so.'