Further Education Funding — [Sir Roger Gale in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 2nd April 2019.

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Photo of Richard Graham Richard Graham Conservative, Gloucester 9:30 am, 2nd April 2019

The apprenticeship levy is an issue in itself, which I do not intend to address today, because it is slightly peripheral to what we can achieve in an hour and a half on the overall situation for further education colleges. The hon. Gentleman is right that there are ongoing issues, which I know the skills Minister is doing her best to tackle, and I am grateful to him for raising them.

More funding can achieve results in a couple of slightly softer areas, which are worth mentioning. The challenge around mental health is not unique to further education but exists across the education sector. There is no doubt about it: young students in general are facing more challenges than in the past. Funding to ensure that they get the support they need while at college is incredibly important and should increase their resilience and contribute to better results and opportunities. It is worth adding that to the checklist of things that could be achieved through more funding.