Cuts to 16-19 funding have been deeper and have gone on for longer than any other school sector.

Currently there is a £700 million shortfall in funding for Post-16 education. This impacts on our members and also students' education in this highly successful sector and is putting the future of sixth form colleges under serious threat.

NEU members are taking action to secure the funding needed to sustain fair pay, conditions and employment including reversing job losses, class size increases and cuts to teaching time and curriculum provision.

There will be a central London rally on the first strike day on 17 October to mark the beginning of a series of strike days extending into November. If necessary further days of strike action will take place on 5 November and 20 November. 

Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

“Our Sixth Form Colleges and the staff who work in them have been hung out to dry by this Government.  Sixth Form Colleges have always been a beacon of quality, but funding cuts have had a savage impact on pay, conditions and jobs and have driven far too many colleges towards merger or closure. Strike action is always a last option but our members believe that it is necessary in order to solve our dispute and help save the sector.”


Editor’s Notes

The NEU Sixth Form Colleges ballot closed on 16 September and five out of six members voted to take action – 84% of members voted Yes to action, and Yes to saving the sixth form sector. Overall, there was a 43% turnout and there will be strike action in the 25 colleges that reached the 50% turnout threshold.

London march and rally, 17 October. Assembly is at the Emmanuel Centre London 9 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 3DW at 1pm, and then a march to the Department for Education (DfE) Sanctuary Buildings 20 Great Smith Street London SW1P 3BT to present an outstanding invoice for the amount still needed for the Post-16 sector not covered by Boris Johnson’s empty promises.

The 25 colleges which passed the 50% threshold and are involved in strike action:

  • Bilborough College, Nottingham
  • Brighton Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College
  • Cheadle and Marple Sixth Form College
  • City & Islington Sixth Form College
  • Esher College
  • Hereford Sixth Form College
  • Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge
  • King Edward VI College Stourbridge
  • Long Road Sixth Form College,Cambridge
  • Longley Park Sixth Form College, Sheffield
  • Newham Sixth Form College
  • Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College, Leeds
  • Priestley College, Warrington
  • Reigate College
  • Richard Huish College, Taunton
  • Shrewsbury Colleges Group
  • Sir George Monoux College, Walthamstow, London
  • St Brendan's Sixth Form College, Bristol
  • St Francis Xavier Sixth Form College, Clapham, London
  • St John Rigby RC Sixth Form College, Wigan
  • The Brooke House Sixth Form College, Hackney, London
  • The Sixth Form College Solihull
  • Varndean College, Brighton
  • Gateway Sixth Form College, Leicester
  • WQE and Regent College Group, Leicester.

The latter two are in half-term so will not be on strike on 17 October but members have been asked to support the rally and march.