Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:12 pm on 30th January 1997.

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Photo of Gordon Prentice Gordon Prentice , Pendle 5:12 pm, 30th January 1997

May we have a statement from the Secretary of State for Education and Employment on the crisis in further education? The Leader of the House will recall that, this time last week, I told him about the 37 redundancies at Nelson and Colne college. It is now perfectly clear from the annual report of the Further Education Funding Council that the crisis is systemic, and that more than 200 further education colleges are moving into deficit. This is an important issue, and the Secretary of State should come to the House to explain herself.

When I raised this matter last Thursday, the Leader of the House invited me to raise the matter with the Secretary of State during Education questions yesterday. I got to my feet 14 times, but tragically I did not catch Madam Speaker's eye. People in my constituency want to know what the Secretary of State will do about this problem.