Commenting on the announcement by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak of £3bn funding for post 16 education, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

"Money for post 16 education is not only always welcome but also desperately needed following dramatic and foolish funding cuts by the Government since 2010.

“16 to 19 education has been treated harshly over the last decade. While this partial restoration of cuts is welcome, the Government need to go much further if they are to provide world class vocational education. In our joint submission to the Spending review the NEU and NAHT called for an additional £6 bn for 16 to 19 education over the next 3 years of this review.

'While we would need to see the detail of the proposals there is no mention of money for education recovery in nursery, primary, secondary or SEND.

'The Governments championing of T levels must not be at the expense of the Applied General Qualifications which include BTECs and Cam Techs. Any decision to scrap these qualifications would massively impact on disadvantaged students who for many years have used these qualifications to progress to higher education and into employment. Pinning a qualification system on a binary choice of only A Levels or the untried and untested T Levels, without that third route of AGQs, would be a mistake and will result in thousands of students missing out on opportunities to progress into HE and employment.

'This £3bn also compares very poorly with the £15bn need for education recovery identified by Sir Kevan Collins and with the sensible demands but forward by National Education Union and NAHT in our joint submission to the spending review".

2021-174-NEU

Press contacts:
Press Office direct line: 0207 380 4706
Out of hours: 07879 480 061