No Christmas joy for Scotland’s further education colleges under SNP

Clydebank FE College and Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton and Lomond. Picture by Bill Heaney

By Lizzie Healey

New figures show that since the SNP came to power in 2007, more than £1 billion has been lost from further education.

The analysis by Scottish Labour shows that in 2007, the budget of Scotland’s colleges was £739.6million in real terms, but the SNP’s failure to protect that budget means colleges have lost out on an additional £1 billion over that last decade.

Under the SNP government, funding for further education has been slashed and there are now 130,000 fewer students going to college since the SNP came to power.

Dumbarton and Lomond MSP Jackie Baillie said: ““This SNP government have said that education is their top priority but years of austerity has cost our colleges more than £1 billion.

“Thousands of young people and mature learners will have had their opportunities cut off and the long term impact will have hit our economy.

“Colleges should be ladders of opportunity for people, engaging with schools, universities and employers to deliver opportunities for everyone. But instead, they have been victim to successive cuts delivered by SNP education budgets.

“Scottish Labour would invest in education so that everyone has the skills that they need to get on in life.”

Scottish Labour research based on figures provided by SPICe, reveals the SNP’s failure to protect college budgets has cost the sector over £1billion.

Year Budget in real terms (2018/19) (millions) Cost of failing to protect
2007-08 739.6
2008-09 736.8 -2.8
2009-10 748.6 9
2010-11 785.7 46.1
2011-12 676.2 -63.4
2012-13 586.9 -152.7
2013-14 577.3 -162.3
2014-15 583.4 -156.2
2015-16 586.7 -152.9
2016-17 575.4 -164.2
2017-18 607.8 -131.8
2018-19 664.9 -74.7
 Total -1005.9

Audit Scotland’s overview of Colleges in Scotland is available here: http://audit-scotland.gov.uk/report/scotlands-colleges-2018

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