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Chichester College Group backs new 'Love Our Colleges' campaign

‘Love Our Colleges’ is launching as part of Colleges Week, which takes place from Monday 15 October to Friday 19 October. 

It highlights the vital role of colleges, as well as the need for proper investment in the further education (FE) sector, along with fairer pay for FE staff.

Crawley College, Chichester College and Brinsbury, all part of the Chichester College Group, have signed up to the campaign, pledging to support the campaign by celebrating FE here in West Sussex.

Shelagh Legrave OBE, Chief Executive of the Group, said: “This is a really important campaign that is working to promote what we – as FE colleges – are doing under increasingly difficult financial conditions.

“We want to celebrate the great things we’re doing, and other FE colleges across the country are doing, but we also want to highlight the chronic underfunding faced by the FE sector. It is becoming increasingly hard for all colleges – and this is not unique to the Chichester College Group – to continue meeting the outstanding standards without more investment.

“We need to show government and the nation how important we are. As further education colleges, we are here to provide skills and training to future employees and future leaders across all industries – we work to ensure they have the rights skills going into work.

“We also work with young people – and older people – to not only develop their skills, but their confidence too. At the end of the day, we are changing lives through learning.

“And you can support us too – by celebrating our achievements and work, but also by supporting our students. We have some amazing student-run facilities at our campuses including hair salons, beauty spas, restaurants – even a dog grooming parlour at Brinsbury – which are all open to the general public to use.”

The ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign is a partnership between Association of Colleges (AoC), National Union of Students (NUS), Association of College and School Leavers (ASCL), University and Colleges Union (UCU), Unison, GMB, TUC and National Education Union (NEU).

The campaign is calling on government to increase 16-19 funding by 5% a year for 5 years. It is also asking Department for Education to provide exceptional funding, ring-fenced for teacher pay.

David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges, said: “Every single day colleges like Crawley College provide a world class education and transform the lives of millions of people. Colleges Week is an opportunity to celebrate the brilliant things that go on and a chance to showcase the brilliant staff that make it possible. It is simple, if we want a world-class education system then we need to properly invest in it.”

The college is planning a number of events to mark Colleges Week and to show the difference that further education colleges can make to young people in the local community.