In the news
Devon colleges unite to support campaign
for fair funding
The Devon Colleges Group is supporting the Love Our Colleges Campaign, a sector-wide manifesto for better funding and fair pay in further education.
The campaign is a partnership between Association of Colleges (AoC), National Union of Students (NUS), Association of College and School Leaders (ASCL), University and Colleges Union (UCU), Unison, GMB, TUC and National Education Union (NEU).
As Devon’s four leading further education colleges, City College Plymouth, Exeter College, Petroc and South Devon College are all an essential part of the region’s education system. Whether it’s through top-class technical education, apprenticeships, A-levels, basic skills or lifelong learning, together they help people of all ages and backgrounds to make the most of their talents and ambitions.
According to the Association of Colleges, there are now 712,000 16-18 year olds in colleges nationally compared to 424,000 in school sixth forms. Just within the Devon Colleges Group there are over 50,000 learners across all ages and courses.
In the last ten years, college budgets have been cut significantly, and cuts to key funding streams are ongoing.
A spokesperson for The Devon Colleges Group said: “We fully back the campaign’s proposals, which call on government to increase 16-19 funding by 5% a year for five years. We are the only OECD country that reduces the funding rate at the age of 16 and currently funding drops by 21% in all state funded post 16 settings.
“We also support the request to the Department for Education to provide exceptional funding, ring-fenced for teacher pay, to replicate the pay award that has been made to school teachers,” they said.
“Colleges, students, staff, parents and the wider community are all affected by a lack of investment in further education and it’s vital that we unite to present a clear message: To deliver high quality education and training to support economic prosperity, productivity and growth we must fairly invest in the system,” they added.
Devon Colleges in top 8% of country’s FE colleges
All four members of Devon Colleges Group are in the top 8% of FE colleges in the country, according to FE Week’s NICDEX league table.
The NICDEX rated all 202 FE colleges in four categories – learner satisfaction, employer satisfaction, 16-to-18 positive progression and adults into employment – to create a score out of 40. All Devon Colleges Group members – City College Plymouth, Exeter College, Petroc and South Devon College – appeared in the top 17.
A DCG spokesperson said: “It is wonderful to see the Devon Colleges Group scoring so highly in these league tables. We know that our region’s further education provision is of the highest quality, so it is gratifying to see this reflected in the national rankings.
“At City College we are constantly looking to the region’s employers to help shape, influence and develop both what we offer and how it is delivered, giving the best possible experience. So to have been ranked first in the country for employer satisfaction and second for student satisfaction is a real achievement.”
Now in its second year, the NICDEX was devised by FE Weeks’s editor and a former director of performance at Lewisham College, based on key criteria published by the Department for Education.