Commenting on the passing of Motion 36 at the Annual Conference of the National Education Union, Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“NEU members are calling on politicians and the public to recognise the weakened and fragmented state of the post-16 sector. It has suffered greater funding cuts than the schools sector over the last 10 years. Mergers driven by financial rather than educational or organisational logic have been accelerated by the area-based reviews process.
“FE colleges have increased their use of zero hours and agency contracts and permanent staff have seen their pay fall dramatically compared to schools. Sixth form college staff face poorer working conditions and contracts when their colleges are absorbed into FE colleges. Post-16 academies are now subject to differential funding arrangements on areas such as teachers' pay.
“NEU members are calling for a new employment contract for the whole post-16 sector, a return to local authority governance of colleges, and most of all for adequate funding before the whole sector is fatally damaged.”