Workplace Report November 2020

Learning and training news

NAO questions education sector’s sustainability

The UCU lecturers’ union has called on the government to bring colleges back into public ownership and boost their funding following a “grim” report on their financial sustainability from the National Audit Office (NAO).

Highlighting the funding cuts to further education in recent years, the NAO says the financial position of the sector remains “fragile”. It concludes that “the combination of funding constraints and uncertainty, along with cost and competitive pressures, present significant challenges to colleges’ financial sustainability.”

UCU head of further education Andrew Harden said: “This study shows the current college funding system is not fit for purpose. Severe cuts to further education have led to job losses, course closures and fewer learning opportunities.

He added: “Colleges must be a vital part of our national recovery plan, but they can only do that with proper funding and support.”