Teaching union members working at Coulsdon Sixth Form College will be on strike on Wednesday, demanding more funding for their students and their college.
Across the country, the National Education Union will be taking strike action at another 33 sixth form colleges, including those at Esher and Reigate.
There is a £700million shortfall nationally in funding for Post-16 education, according to the NEU, which has 70 members working at Coulsdon.
Coulsdon Sixth Form College, on Placehouse Lane in Old Coulsdon, has around 900 pupils, aged from 16 to 21. After its most recent inspection by Ofsted, in April 2018, it was rated “Good”. Earlier this year, Coulsdon announced it was to merge with Croydon College.
Teaching staff numbers and support staff posts at Coulsdon have fallen significantly due to the real-terms cuts, while at the same time student numbers have risen. This is putting the future of all sixth form colleges under serious threat, the NEU says.
“NEU members at Coulsdon have a very clear message for government, and their anger is growing,” Joe Flynn, the secretary of the NEU in Croydon. “Each day they see the effects of shameful cuts to 16-19 funding, which have gone on much longer and much deeper than in any other school sector.
“In this election, we are arguing the case for education. With this week’s strike, members are amplifying that message. They are telling government and the general public that sixth form colleges are on their knees. Serious investment is needed urgently to ensure that it can remain the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the education sector. Meeting the £700million shortfall for Post-16 would be a good start.
“The public are not easily fooled by warm words and empty promises. They will look closely at manifestos and carefully weigh up the education pledges of each party. They know that if you value education, you must vote for education.”
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