Cuts protest

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FIVE West Sussex College principals have called for a rethink of cuts to Post 16 student travel which is set to hit the poorest hardest.

This week Members of West Sussex County Council Children’s and Young People Select Committee received a letter from five principals of further education colleges in West Sussex, pointing to the devastating effect of last month’s decision by Cabinet Member Peter Griffiths to remove travel support for young people over the age of 16 with family incomes of less than £16,190.

Though the letter is charitable about the ‘good faith’ of the council in assuming that support for the poorest students would be available from the 16-18 Bursary Fund, the quintet has pointed out that Futher Education colleges have a higher proportion of students with special needs who are guaranteed support, leaving almost nothing to support the transport needs of those families on low income.

Cllr Dr Colin Wilsdon said: “This is an example of a decision based on unsound assumptions and will seriously hit our most vulnerable students. I call for the decision to be reconsidered so that poorest families are not hit.”