Cuts to school funding could hurt the job prospects of hundreds of young people in Bradford, according to students and colleges.
The Government plans to reduce the amount of money education providers get for full-time students who are already 18, by 17.15 per cent.
The move will affect students who have already had two years in post-16 education, and could particularly hit those who have had to re-sit a year of school, or decide to change course part way through.
Education Secretary Michael Gove has said the move was necessary because of cuts to his department. He added: “I looked at the options available and came to the conclusion that reducing funding for full-time 18-year-olds was the least detrimental option, though clearly regrettable.”
He said firm figures on the amount being cut would be available at the end of February.
In Yorkshire and the Humber there are 7,000 full-time 18-plus students.
Bradford College Student Union president Piers Telemacque said many of his fellow pupils would be hit by these and other cuts.
He said: “It is disgusting that the Government is making these kinds of cuts to education. It is severely restricting a student’s chance to achieve in the future. There will be students who won’t be able to get funding for the course they want or stuck doing a course they don’t enjoy because they know if they switch they won’t be funded past 18.”
Stephanie Tinsley, interim vice-principal FE at Bradford College, said: “While we understand that there is a need to address public finances, this should not be accomplished by reducing the funding available to some of the most vulnerable young people in education.”
Councillor Ralph Berry, executive member for children’s services on Bradford Council, said the cuts had been railroaded through, adding: “It will have a major impact on some of our colleges and sixth forms. I am extremely concerned with how this might effect some of our young people.”