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Emma Hardy, the MP for Hull West and Hessle, has questioned the Department of Education over the 60% cap on staffing costs imposed on Hull College as part of its Fresh Start Funding.

The college, which applied for the funding to overcome a budget deficit of £10 million is capped at using only 60% of its income at any future point on staffing costs. The upshot of this is that Hull College are having to get rid of 231 FTE jobs. This amounts to one in every three jobs at the college.

Emma has previously questioned Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds, on the issue of further education cuts when the Secretary of State appeared in front of the Education Select Committee in April.

In answer to Emma’s question, the Minister did not mention the 60% cap but assured Emma that the Further Education Commissioner and her department would continue to work closely with Emma to find the right solution for Hull.

Commenting after Education Questions, Emma said ‘While I am pleased that the Minister has said that she will work closely with me going forward, I was not happy with the content of her answer. She singly failed to even acknowledge the problem that the cap raises for the college and those who will lose their jobs because of it. Nor did she acknowledge that it is the political choices of her government to cut funding from Further Education that have led directly to the difficult financial circumstances that Hull College finds itself in. Fresh Start funding is also an extremely shady area and one where the light of transparency desperately needs to be shone. I have already submitted a written question asking for clarification on the subject and will continue to press the government until I gain a satisfactory answer.”

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