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Government plans to cut funding to sixth forms in Worcestershire high schools have been sharply criticised by Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff. The cuts follow mismanagement of the budget of the Learning and Skills Council, which has already caused chaos to the building and development programmes of many local FE colleges.
Following detailed complaints from one local headteacher about the latest cuts, Peter has written to John Denham, the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and to Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families to complain about the cuts. In his letter to the two ministers, Peter says,

“You will be aware that Worcestershire county council has always been one of the most under funded local authorities in the country for education and the news of this incompetence in the management of the Learning and Skills Council’s budget is therefore a doubly serious blow for the young people in my constituency.

“I just do not see how schools are expected to cope with these sudden, unexpected and unplanned budget cuts.

“I understand the pressures on public expenditure at present but to be cutting expenditure on a crucial educational period makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. You are supposed to be protecting front line services from the impact of any expenditure reductions but here this is manifestly not happening.”

Peter explained,

“Local schools have been planning on the well-tested and perfectly reasonable assumption the money would be there for the young people who want to attend sixth form this September. Now, only five months before the start of the new academic year, they find the money will not be available.

“Never before has education policy been conducted with such incompetence and with such serious results for our young people. We should be doing all we can to develop their skills, but instead we have a government that is going to say to thousands of young people that they can’t continue in education because the money just isn’t there. The government must find the money now to put this scandal right.”


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