It has suffered greater funding cuts than the schools sector over the last 10 years.  Mergers driven by financial rather than educational or organisational logic have been accelerated by the area-based reviews process.

“FE colleges have increased their use of zero hours and agency contracts and permanent staff have seen their pay fall dramatically compared to schools.  Sixth form college staff face poorer working conditions and contracts when their colleges are absorbed into FE colleges. Post-16 academies are now subject to differential funding arrangements on areas such as teachers' pay.

“NEU members are calling for a new employment contract for the whole post-16 sector, a return to local authority governance of colleges, and most of all for adequate funding before the whole sector is fatally damaged.”



Note to editors:

We are currently in Liverpool for our Annual Conference (15-18 April), during which time you will receive a higher number of press releases than usual.

The Conference Press Office can be reached on 0151 707 4642 (9am-6pm) and 07879 480 061 (24hrs). The press officer can be reached at

Our conference agenda is available here:

The hashtag for Annual Conference is #NEU19 .

  • The National Education Union stands up for the future of education. It brings together the voices of more than 450,000 teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders working in maintained and independent schools and colleges across the UK, to form the largest education union in Europe.
  • It is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing its members in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
  • The National Education Union is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). It is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.