This post was first published by Croydon Advertiser on 18/10/2018.
Croydon College calls on the Government to increase college funding
The College, which counts Gareth Southgate among its alumnae, thinks cuts are hurting its world-class reputation.
They’ve helped train the current England Football Manager and changed the lives of thousands of local people but now Croydon College fears cuts in Government funding could put all its good work in jeopardy.
A recent Institute of Fiscal Studies report shows that since 2010/11 funding for adult education and training has been cut by 45%. They claim this has been compounded by a reduction in education funding once a student turns 16 – whether they are in a school sixth form or a college.
This week they backed a march on Parliament to demand fairer funding for colleges. Representatives from at least 30 colleges across the country headed through Trafalgar Square and down Whitehall – chanting cheering and bearing placards.
Why was the march taking place?
The day of action was during Colleges Week which runs from October 15-19. It was part of the ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign which saw colleges across the country hosting events to showcase the brilliant work they do.
What do they want to achieve?
‘Love Our Colleges’ is calling on the Government to increase funding for 16-19-year-olds by five per cent a year for five years. It is also asking the Department for Education to provide exceptional funding, ring-fenced for teacher pay.
Why is the campaign so important to Croydon College?
Croydon College educates and trains more than 7,000 local people from Croydon and surrounding boroughs every year.
They’ve fantastic facilities in the heart of Croydon, and skilled and dedicated staff who enable their students to achieve not only a qualification in their chosen vocational area, but also to develop the skills they need to progress into further study, employment or a new career.
A spokesman said: “We change lives and create future nurses, engineers, plumbers, beauticians, scientists, actors, artists, and even the odd England Football Team Manager.
“Whether it’s through top-class technical education, basic skills or lifelong learning, colleges help people of all ages and backgrounds to make the most of their talents and ambitions. Rooted in local communities, they are crucial in driving social mobility and providing the skills to boost local and regional economies.
“Unfortunately during the recent years of austerity, funding for Further Education colleges has been drastically reduced resulting in a huge reduction in the adult education and training the college can offer our local community.”
So Croydon College have helped an England Football Manager?
Yes. Current England Team manager Gareth Southgate studied at Croydon College between 1987 and 1989.
He successfully completed their City & Guilds Certificate for Recreation and Leisure Industries as part of The Footballers Further Education & Vocational Training Society Youth Training Scheme.
Jim Earl (recently retired from the college) taught on the course and clearly remembers Gareth Southgate as a natural leader and someone that stood out in the class.
He said: “Gareth was a very bright and likeable student. He was successful and completed all elements of the course. He was popular within the group and had a great sense of humour while at the same time he paid attention to detail in his academic work.
“When at the College, Gareth showed good leadership qualities and was always nominated by his peers and staff to give the after-dinner speeches at the annual YTS Footballers’ Lunch.”
What does Croydon College say about the week?
Caireen Mitchell Principal at Croydon College, said: “Colleges Week is an opportunity to celebrate the brilliant things that go on and a chance to showcase the brilliant staff that make it possible. It is simple, if we want a world-class education system then we need to properly invest in it.”
David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges, added: “Every single day colleges like Croydon College provide a world-class education and transform the lives of millions of people.”
How can I find out more about Croydon College?
Visit: Croydon College, College Road, Croydon, CR9 1DX
Call: 020 8686 5700
Online: Click here.