In total, 38% of all sixth form colleges and 16-19 academies will be taking action together. The NEU is in dispute with the Secretary of State and seeking improved pay, conditions and employment through better funding for 16-19 education.

NEU members will be taking action to secure the funding needed to reverse job losses, class size increases, and cuts to teaching time and curriculum provision.

Funding for 16-19 education has been cut by more and for longer than in schools and funding increases announced before the Election are grossly inadequate. Jobs have been cut, class sizes have risen and pay has fallen. If the crisis continues to go unaddressed, the future of the sector is at threat and it is students’ education that will continue to suffer.

The NEU is seeking higher and sustained funding which will improve the pay, working conditions and security of employment of NEU members and secure the future of the sector.

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:   

16-19 education is under incredible pressure, with sixth form colleges bearing the brunt of real-terms cuts. That is why our members are pressuring the Government ahead of the Budget. At the very least we need a £700m injection of new money to close the gap with schools, otherwise the crisis will continue.

Editor’s Note

In the recent NEU sixth form colleges ballot, which closed on 16 September, 25 colleges passed the 50% turnout threshold permitting strike action under trade union law. Overall, 84% of members voted Yes to action and Yes to saving the sixth form sector on a 43% turnout. 

In addition, a re-ballot of 16 colleges – which closed on 4 November – saw 9 more colleges pass the 50% turnout threshold under trade union law.

  • Ashton Sixth Form College, Ashton-under-Lyne;
  • Bilborough College, Nottingham;
  • Brighton Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College;
  • Cheadle and Marple Sixth Form College; Stockport;
  • City & Islington Sixth Form College;
  • Coulsdon Sixth Form College;
  • Esher College;
  • Gateway Sixth Form College, Leicester;
  • Havering Sixth Form College;
  • Hereford Sixth Form College;
  • Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge;
  • King Edward VI College, Nuneaton;
  • King Edward VI College,  Stourbridge;
  • Long Road Sixth Form College;
  • Longley Park Sixth Form College, Sheffield ;
  • Newham Sixth Form College;
  • Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College, Leeds;
  • Peter Symonds College;
  • Priestley College;
  • Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, Darlington;
  • Reigate College;
  • Richard Huish College;
  • Shrewsbury Colleges Group;
  • Sir George Monoux College, Waltham Forest, London;
  • St Brendan's Sixth Form College;
  • St Francis Xavier Sixth Form College;
  • St John Rigby RC Sixth Form College, Wigan;
  • The Blackpool Sixth Form College;
  • The Brooke House Sixth Form College;
  • The Sixth Form College Solihull;
  • Thomas Rotherham College, Rotherham;
  • Varndean College, Brighton;
  • WQE and Regent College Group, Leicester;
  • Xaverian College, Manchester.

More info on the strike can be found here.