Support our campaign to overturn an unfair funding rule disadvantaging our city

We, the undersigned, are calling on the government and Gillian Keegan MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills to overturn an unfair further education funding rule that disadvantages young people, adult learners and employers.
A government rule means The Sheffield College’s Ofsted grade 3 ‘requires improvement’ restricts the funding, and educational and skills programmes, that it can be part of. This has significant consequences, adversely affecting the long term educational and economic success of our communities and the City.
The rule is built into various application processes for FE colleges to access funding for new projects such as T Levels and the Institutes of Technology. It means that only Ofsted grade 1 ‘outstanding’ or grade 2 ‘good’ FE colleges are eligible to apply for funding to launch these projects. Consequently, The Sheffield College cannot do so.

As a result:
  • Young people in our city are being denied access to T Levels at the College, and to upgraded state-of-the-art facilities, that we could otherwise provide and which young people in other towns and cities will have.
  • Employers in our city cannot access state-of-the-art facilities routinely when considering skills development and training or the new T Levels qualifications until 2023 at the earliest which levels down the opportunities for Sheffield’s communities.
  • College students accessing Higher Level Technical Qualifications in STEM subjects will not have access to the capital funding to ensure that state of the art facilities are provided for the delivery of STEM subjects at higher levels.
This issue is critical given government plans to put FE colleges at the forefront of the UK’s economic pandemic recovery. 
Our communities, employers and the College should not be held back by this unfair funding rule as we work towards delivering on the Skills for Jobs White Paper that aims to transform post-16 education and training, boost skills, invest in lifelong learning for adults and get more people into work.
That’s why we have written to Gillian Keegan MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, to raise our concerns and call for the funding rule to be overturned.
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