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Tuesday 10th April 2012 | 11:12
Commenting after the debate on Motion 22, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said;
“The Government plans huge cuts to sixth form colleges – sixth form funding is to be cut by almost a fifth in the period to 2015. For teachers this attack on a valued and valuable sector is already causing huge damage, even though we are only in the first year of the Government’s ongoing cuts programme.
“Teachers are seeing job losses, real terms pay cuts, a pay freeze and worsened working conditions. Teachers will be driven out of the sector by these attacks on their pay and conditions.
“Teachers are colleges’ key resource, so attacks on teachers are also attacks on students. Students are suffering from higher class sizes, reduced individual support, the abolition of the EMA and the 75% cut to enrichment activities.
“The achievements and quality of sixth form colleges are widely recognised. They provide an essential gateway to work and higher education. The huge attacks they face are counter-productive - we need properly-resourced colleges to develop the skills of our young people, as the foundation for our future economic prosperity. Sixth form colleges develop the talents of our young people. These cuts must be reversed. We must invest in our young people instead of selling them short.”