Sunday 7 February 2010

UCU and NUT discuss joint strategy

I attended a joint NUT/UCU meeting on Thursday to discuss a joint approach to the forthcoming changes in 16-19 funding.

The return of funding from the Learning and Skills Council to Local Authorities was welcomed by unions. However, the transition to the new arangements, against a background of spending cuts, could be fraught with difficulties.

The demise of the LSC points out an obvious contradiction in Government policy. Labour and Tory politicians alike want to dismanatle Local Authorities through Academies and Trusts. However, they have had to recognise that Local Authorities are required to plan 16-19 prvision in a locality. Of course, they only see the LAs as "commissioners" rather than providers of education.

Already, Higher Education is facing swingeing cuts, choking the opportunities for the young people that we teach to get to university. Leeds University UCU members have just voted in favour of strike action to ,oppose announced cust of £35 million, the equivalent of 700 jobs being lost.

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