SOLIHULL sixth form college will be closed today, with staff joining strike action over education cuts.
The college has announced the closure on social media, tweeting: “Due to the level of support for the National Strike against the Secretary of State regarding the post-16 funding cuts, the College will close to students at 10.30am today.”
Members of the National Education Union at Solihull sixth form have joined a demonstration in London with the aim of restoring £700million to further education funding.
The union’s West Midlands group tweeted: “Massive picket on our strike for funding today at Solihull Sixth Form college #SaveOurColleges – NEU members heading off to London for the demo and to ask for the missing £700million!”
A spokesperson for the NEU said: “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.”
Teaching staff from 25 colleges nationally are rallying in central London as they plan additional walkouts on November 5 and November 20. The strikers intend to march to the Department for Education.
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.”