John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning announced on 12 July 2012 that he would be introducing a package of concessions on the Government’s plan to end direct support of Further Education and offer Further Education loans instead. The changes announced will allow individuals taking Access to Higher Education courses to write off the amount outstanding on the loan upon completion of their Access course. The Government also plans to increase investment support for STEM subjects and create bursaries to help vulnerable learners like parents who have childcare responsibilites.
In response Valerie said:
“While I appreciate that the Government has changed its policies towards ending Further Education support, these concessions do not address the real issue which is the detrimental impact that FE loans will have on minorities and women in particular. Many learners have already indicated that the end of FE support and introduction of FE loans will mean they will no longer pursue their goal of further education. We must continue to support those who are economically and socially disadvantaged by ensuring that access routes to higher education are secured.”
You can read the Minister’s letter here.