Shadow schools minister Mike Kane MP visited Loreto College on Friday to show his support for the Raise the Rate campaign aimed at securing an increase in funding for sixth form education in this year’s spending review.

Mr Kane completed his A levels at Loreto College and studied for his Undergraduate degree at Manchester Metropolitan University. He went on to train as a primary school teacher before being elected MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East. In October 2016, he was appointed shadow minister for education with responsibility for schools and is keen to support sixth form education.

Mr Kane met with the Principal of Loreto College, Peter McGhee to discuss the local, regional and national issues that are facing the sector. Both Mr Kane and Mr McGhee (pictured) fully support the ‘Raise the Rate’ campaign that is calling for an increase to the national funding rate for all 16-18 year-old students, which has been cut twice since 2010 and frozen at £4,000 per student, per year since 2013.

A recent report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies found government funding for 16-to 18-year-olds has been cut “much more sharply” than funding for pupils in pre-school, primary, secondary or higher education. A combination of funding cuts and cost increases have left colleges stretched and they require some much needed financial stability. Schools minister Nick Gibb also admitted in January last year that sixth forms were facing “tight” resources. “I recognise that there is more to do to continue improving our post-16 education system,” he said at the time.

Peter McGhee, Principal of Loreto Sixth Form College said: “College funding is in urgent need of review. The pressures on institutions within the sector are growing year on year and we fully support the SFCA in this campaign to bring about change to end the spending freeze.”

Mike Kane, MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East and shadow minister for schools said:  “I was thrilled to visit my old College today. I’m really pleased to see it is going from strength to strength as a fantastic College serving the young people of Manchester and beyond.

“With funding frozen since 2013 and the subsequent real-terms funding cut, it’s no surprise colleges like Loreto are under extreme pressure. I fully support the ‘Raise the Rate’ campaign to bring 16-18 education funding up to an adequate realistic level.”

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