Speaking in the Third Reading debate, Peter Aldous welcomes the Government’s efforts to enable people to realise their full potential through lifelong learning, but calls for the measures in this Bill to be part of a wider, coherent post-16 education and skills strategy.
Peter Aldous campaigns for more funding for Sixth Forms and Colleges and is a Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Sixth Form Education.
The APPG has written to the Chancellor setting out our recommendations.
The recommendations are:
- Introduce a dedicated capital expansion fund for sixth form providers
- Raise the rate of funding for sixth form students to at least £4,760 per year
- Extend the teachers' pay grant to sixth form colleges
- Introduce a capital maintenance fund for dedicated sixth form providers
- Introduce a VAT refund scheme for sixth form colleges
Peter Aldous welcomes the lifelong loan entitlement and Government’s acknowledgement of the need for maintenance support for adult learners, but calls for a clear pathway for those who do not yet have level 3 qualifications, such as A-levels, to participate in this initiative.
Peter Aldous backs a Bill that makes it easier for adults to secure student loans for shorter courses and study flexibly over their lifetime which will help address the skills crisis, eliminate the productivity gap and give more people the opportunity to realise their full potential.
Peter Aldous leads a Westminster Hall debate to celebrate Colleges Week and the work that colleges do in local communities and highlight the problems facing the sector in funding, staff recruitment and retention and the speed of the Government’s reforms to level 3 qualifications.
At the start of the new Parliamentary session, Peter Aldous speaks in the debate on the Queen’s Speech and outlines the areas where he believes the Government needs to focus; more targeted assistance to help people with the cost of living crisis, helping everyone realise their full potential, address the challenges in energy supply and the transition to net zero, and reduce NHS waiting lists and the lack of NHS dentists.
Peter Aldous calls on the Government to ensure that colleges are properly resourced so they can deliver on the aims of the Bill and urges the Government to consider amendments that would put the lifetime skills guarantee on a statutory footing, and reform universal credit conditions so that people in receipt of universal credit can more easily access education and training.
Peter Aldous welcomes the Education Committee’s report on adult skills and lifelong learning and urges the Government to work collaboratively with local colleges, specifically calling for a long-term funding settlement for colleges and, more urgently, for the Education and Skills Funding Agency to revisit the decision to claw back funding from colleges that missed their 2020-2021 academic year targets by more than 10%.
Peter Aldous welcomes the “Skills for Jobs” White Paper and asks the Government to set out the timetable and the criteria for selecting the trailblazers for local skills improvement plans so that the colleges, chambers of commerce and local enterprise partnership in Suffolk and Norfolk can put in a bid.
Peter Aldous highlights the logistical challenges facing colleges such as East Coast College as they prepare to test 5,000 students and 650 members of staff ahead of reopening and calls on the Government to work with colleges in a collaborative and flexible way to address the obstacles as they arise.