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Bridget says Tory cuts to education will hit local college and students hardest

Gareth Thomas, Bridget Phillipson, and City of Sunderland College StudentsHoughton and Sunderland South MP, Bridget Phillipson and Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Labour’s Gareth Thomas visited staff and students at Shiney Row College, to listen to their views ahead of Labour’s Education policy review.

The Tory-led government’s cuts to education were of particular concern – especially the cut to Labour’s Education Maintenance Allowance, which the Tories promised to keep.

Gareth wanted to visit City of Sunderland College because of its fantastic academic record. In the last academic year, City of Sunderland College achieved an overall 99% pass rate for A-level subjects, the highest in the City, with 21 subjects achieving a 100% pass rate.

For its BTEC National Diplomas, it achieved a 100% pass rate in 15 out of 16 subjects. In October 2010, 883 of its students went on to study at university. This is matched by outstanding results on its Higher Education programmes as well as a glowing Ofsted inspection report.

City of Sunderland College also provides significant adult programmes, up-skilling for those in employment and has a substantial Higher Education portfolio.

Commenting on the discussions, Bridget said:

“It’s fantastic that we have a local resource in City of Sunderland College which achieves great results. I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit the College to hear the views of both staff and students ahead of Labour’s Education policy review.

“Nevertheless, it’s clear the Tories cuts to education will hit young people and adult learners the hardest.

“To grow our economy we need to invest education and skills – the Tories are doing the opposite as seen by the cuts to EMA and BSF.”

Labour’s Shadow Minister for Education Gareth Thomas said:

“It was fantastic to meet students and staff at City of Sunderland College. I was thoroughly impressed with their well-reasoned and intelligent points of view and insightful questions.”

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