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SNP urged to “stop short-changing” Scotland’s college sector

The SNP Government will be urged this week by the Scottish Conservatives to stop “short-changing” Scotland’s crucial college sector.
 
The party will use their debating time on Wednesday in the Scottish Parliament to call on the SNP Government to change their current funding approach to Scotland’s colleges as well as giving them more flexibility to allow them to flourish.
 
Shadow education secretary Liam Kerr says that successive SNP education secretaries – including their new leader-in-waiting John Swinney – have passed down “brutal and sustained” cuts to the sector, rather than fully funding them.
 
Audit Scotland warned last year that “risks to the college sector’s financial sustainability” have increased, while reports say the Scottish Funding Council have identified three colleges with "significant cash flow issues".
 
Liam Kerr added that “brilliant staff and talented students” are being let down due to the SNP Government’s inaction.
 
Scottish Conservative shadow education secretary Liam Kerr MSP said: “Successive SNP education secretaries – including John Swinney – have repeatedly short-changed Scotland’s crucial college sector.
 
“The SNP’s leader-in-waiting along with others responsible for our colleges have passed on brutal and sustained cuts to them year after year.
 
“The financial strain colleges are under is bad enough, but the SNP Government is failing them on many other fronts. It is shunning much needed reforms, and they have not created an environment in which colleges can be flexible or show more innovation.
 
“The potential and indeed existing outputs of Scotland’s colleges are incredible, led by brilliant staff and talented and committed students – but they are being let down by this SNP government. Colleges help boost our economy and develop the workforce of the future.
 
“When I challenged the SNP minister on the eye-watering funding gap facing colleges, he typically deflected blame elsewhere and had no plan to fix this crisis which is why we are using our time in Holyrood to challenge him again.
 
“The SNP minister must listen to these calls from the Scottish Conservatives and the sector, otherwise colleges will only be put at greater risk.”
 
Ends
 
Notes
 
https://audit.scot/publications/scotlands-colleges-2023#:~:text=Risks%20to%20the%20college%20sector's,are%20colleges'%20biggest%20financial%20pressure.