New City College closes campuses to protest in Westminster

PUBLISHED: 16:10 18 October 2018

Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, spoke at the Love Our Colleges rally. Picture: Association of Colleges

Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, spoke at the Love Our Colleges rally. Picture: Association of Colleges


New City College closed its six campuses for a day to take part in a march in Westminster.

The college, which has campuses in Tower Hamlets, Redbridge, Hackney and Epping Forest, was taking part in the Love Our Colleges campaign, which is calling for more funding for colleges.

Students, staff and principal, Gerry McDonald, attended the protest, along with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner.

An open letter, signed by Mr McDonald and chair of governors, Meena Chavda, said: “For one day, we have stopped. We’ve closed our classrooms and put teaching on hold.

“Colleges in England train and educate a million young people and two million adults a year. They are the next generation of plumbers, electricians, early years practitioners and health professionals.

President of the National Union of Students, Shakira Martin, was one of the march's speakers. Picture: Association of CollegesPresident of the National Union of Students, Shakira Martin, was one of the march's speakers. Picture: Association of Colleges

“New City College does all this and more in the colleges we serve. But we can’t go on doing all this without fair funding.”

Unions estimate that 3,000 people attended the march, which demanded the government increase funding to “sustainable levels”. This means increasing the funding for 16 to 19-year-olds by five per cent a year for the next five years, and extending the pupil premium, for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, to students aged 16 and over.

Colleges also want a fully-funded retraining scheme for adults, and ringfenced funding for staff pay from 2018/19 onwards.

The Love Our Colleges campaign, which has been organised by the University and College Union, claims that college funding has been cut by nearly 30 per cent since 2009.

This has led to a reduction in teaching resources available, fewer adults in learning, and restricted course choice.

The government’s apprentice and skills minister, Anne Milton, said: “I am very aware of the funding pressures in further education which is why we are conducting an assessment of education, funding and the sustainability of the sector.

“This government plans to invest nearly £7 billion this academic year to make sure there is a place in education or training, including apprenticeships, for every 16 to 19-year-old and we have protected the base rate of funding for 16 to 19-year-olds until 2020.”

Latest East London News Stories

Older people in Tower Hamlets are being trained in classical dance by the English National Ballet to commemorate a century since the end of the First World War.


Police are looking for the driver of a suspicious vehicle which sped away as they approached and was a then in a hit-and-run incident in Spitalfields yesterday.

Yesterday, 15:17

One thousand people left their offices following a basement blaze in Canary Wharf this afternoon.

Yesterday, 13:06

Campaigners have finally sunk plans for the controversial Enderby Wharf cruise-liner terminal going ahead which would have polluted a huge swathe of the Thames and the Isle of Dogs.

Yesterday, 11:00

An advice clinic set up as a temporary free service at Stratford following cuts to legal aid has won a funding contract for a permanent operation.

Tue, 18:00

Optician director Jayesh Maru has seen his way to the ancient mountain-top Inca capital of Machu Picchu and has found his way back to east London.

Tue, 13:36

Children have spent four years researching the life of a pupil at their school more than 100 years ago who was later awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously after being killed in the First World War.

Tue, 09:54

Small businesses occupying railway arches in east London facing crippling rent rises as much as 350 per cent have been promised a tenants’ charter to safeguard their trading.


Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now