Reports of more FE cuts prompt AoC defence

Further education has already taken its “fair share” of cuts, the Association of Colleges (AoC) has warned amid claims another £48bn could be slashed from government budgets.

The organisation has called for a review of education spending after warnings in national media that cuts could spiral way above the £25bn suggested by Prime Minister David Cameron, and a former civil servant warned the situation could be tough for FE for another decade.

A spokesperson for the AoC told FE Week: “Fair funding for colleges is always something that is high on our agenda and forms part of our discussions with the three main political parties.

“So far the FE sector has taken more than its fair share of funding cuts and we’re calling on the government to carry out a once-in-a-generation review of education spending to ensure that all age groups get an adequate budget. More stable funding would allow colleges to plan in the longer term.”

Education and Training Foundation chief executive David Russell said: “We have known for some time the fiscal climate for public services will remain very challenging for another five to 10 years.

“This presents a huge challenge to those delivering public value with public funding. It is the reason why excellent leadership, management and governance are vital to success of the FE and training system.”

The Treasury declined to comment. See feweek.co.uk for more sector reaction.