Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

News at a Glance

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

News at a Glance

Article excerpt

NUS demands that students be given a free ride

The National Union of Students has called on the government to guarantee free bus travel for FE college students and apprentices aged 16-19 after a report revealed that councils had slashed millions from transport budgets. Research by the Campaign for Better Transport shows that local authority funding for bus services in England has fallen by 15 per cent since 2010, to £249.9 million, with more than 2,000 routes reduced or abolished entirely. In Wales, some 179 services have been reduced or cut over the same period. The NUS said the changes had had a huge impact on FE students and apprentices travelling to college, with almost half of students living in less built-up areas paying more than £20 a week to get to college and apprentices paying an average of £24 a week. Joe Vinson, NUS vice-president for further education, said the cuts were "incredibly worrying". "The cost of travel can be the difference between making it to college or not, particularly for students from lower-income backgrounds and those living in rural areas," he said. A spokesperson for the Department for Education said that councils were responsible for providing transport and it expected them to make "appropriate decisions". They added that most young people had access to discounts or concessions on local transport from councils, schools, colleges or transport companies, and that the government's £180 million bursary fund for disadvantaged young people was also often used to help with transport costs.

Barnfield College chair says sorry to students

An FE college chairman has apologised to students for the "unacceptable failure" of the previous management team after the institution was judged inadequate by Ofsted. Robin Somerville said Barnfield College in Luton had "lost its way" since being given an outstanding rating in 2007. …

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