It’s Colleges Week this week – a chance for the Further Education sector to celebrate colleges, and to highlight the challenges they face. The need for more funding is a key focus, but it also raises issues about accommodation for students, difficulties in recruiting new teachers, staff and student wellbeing, and the struggle to get policies through parliament.
Teachers in colleges are paid 20% less than their school counterparts, and many support staff have seen little or no pay increase for several years (loveourcolleges.co.uk). Colleges are a vital part of local and national economies, and have a hand in shaping the future of millions of students but despite this, FE colleges have experienced annual cuts for the past decade.
As a growing edtech firm, we work in partnership with colleges to deliver blended learning courses because we believe in the power they have to change lives. Through the delivery of our flexible Online and On Campus courses, we help to make education accessible to individuals who wish to study further or gain skills in a new sector, but who may not otherwise be able to study around their work and life commitments. However, our efforts – and the efforts of our partner colleges – to ensure that the true value of FE is recognised continue to be undermined through the lack of real policies and funding.
That’s why we’re supporting the #loveourcolleges campaign, spearheaded by the Association of Colleges. Through local and national campaigns, we’re confident that it can make a real change. There are lots of ways to get involved, such as contacting local press, writing to your MP or sharing campaign information on social media. There are lots of resources on the loveourcolleges.co.uk website to use.
Here’s the team from Mindful Education, showing our support for our partner colleges and the wider FE sector. We #loveourcolleges!