Dudley North MP Ian Austin is backing a national campaign aimed at increasing education funding for 16 to 18 year olds.
Austin attended an event organised by the Raise the Rate campaign for MPs that are backing its call for the government to increase the core funding rate for 16 to 18 year old students from £4,000 per year to at least £4,760 per year.
Funding for sixth forms was cut after 2010 and the funding rate has been frozen at £4,000 since 2013.
A recent survey for the Raise the Rate campaign found that funding pressures had led 51% of schools and colleges across England to cut courses in languages and 78% to reduce student support services or extra-curricular activities.
Over three quarters (76%) of schools and colleges reported that the funding they are due to receive this year will not be sufficient to provide the support required by disadvantaged students.
Last week, Austin wrote a letter to Chancellor Sajid Javid urging him to increase the funding rate.
On Saturday, the government announced that it would do so in this week’s spending round, but the increase is likely to be around £200 per student - well short of the £760 per student boost that Austin, the Raise the Rate campaign and Parliament’s education select committee is calling for.
Ian Austin said:
“The funding announced by the Chancellor is welcome but the increase is likely to be around £200 per student - well short of the £760 per student boost that I call for in my letter.
“Dudley College and King Ed's do a great job for local students but I’m supporting the Raise the Rate campaign to ensure they receive the funding they need to deliver a world class education to our young people.
“I’ve always said we need to make education and skills our number one priority – not just to give youngsters a first class start but to attract new investment, new industries and new jobs.
“Young people in the Black Country are as good as anyone, but long-term youth unemployment is still twice the national average, school results are still not good enough, we haven’t got enough apprenticeships and we’ve only got one University for over a million people.
“Over the next 20 years there’s going to be huge growth in hi-tech industries and I want young people in Dudley to be at the forefront of this so I will continue to press the Government on this crucial issue.”