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

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:04 am on 2nd April 2019.

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Photo of Will Quince Will Quince Conservative, Colchester 10:04 am, 2nd April 2019

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. It is our colleges that are working closely with industry to ensure that our future workforce have the skills and competence that are needed to thrive and develop careers within those sectors. It is important that we keep that link alive.

As Members have mentioned, the Raise the Rate campaign is calling for the frozen national funding rate for FE students to be increased to at least £4,760 per student, to bring it closer to the level spent on 11 to 16-year-olds, which is some £5,341 per student.

I will conclude by saying that if we believe in social mobility and equality of opportunity, the heart of that process is within our education system. It is imperative that we invest in our people. I know that the Minister cares passionately about this issue. One of the frustrations with debates such as this is that we make the arguments to Education Ministers who know the arguments well and are well-versed in them. Therefore, this is really a message to the Treasury, and we say loudly and clearly, on a cross-party basis, that we need more money for our education budget and, in particular, for the Cinderella service that is further education.