John McDonnellLocal MP John McDonnell put his support behind increased funding for Uxbridge College during Colleges Week.

John McDonnell, for Hayes & Harlington (Lab) - also the Shadow Chancellor - visited Hayes Campus on the final day of Colleges Week, which ran from 15-19 October.

Colleges Week was part of the ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign and included a national lobby of Parliament on 17 October for increased funding.

John McDonnell, who supported the call for increased funding, said: “Uxbridge College is at the heart of a community so it is a huge resource, and the underfunding of colleges is worrying. Lack of funding for colleges is denying people the opportunity for a second chance at education and training, and it is also an issue because we’re entering the 4th industrial revolution where there is such a big challenge for skills.”

Laraine Smith OBE, Principal of Uxbridge College, said: “We would like to say a massive thank you to our MPs for their support and for their visits in advance of and during Colleges Week. Uxbridge College is incredibly proud of the work it does and we certainly feel extra finance would add significant value to both the lives of young people and adults and to businesses and the economy at every level.”

David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges, said: “Every single day colleges like Uxbridge College provide a world class education and transform the lives of millions of people. 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.”

‘Love Our Colleges’ has called on government to increase 16-19 funding by 5% a year for 5 years to combat the reduction in education funding once a student turns 16 – whether they are in a school sixth form or a college. It is also asking the Department for Education to provide exceptional funding, ring-fenced for teacher pay.

The ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign is a partnership between Association of Colleges (AoC), National Union of Students (NUS), Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), University and Colleges Union (UCU), Unison, GMB, TUC and National Education Union (NEU).

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.

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