Students and staff at Chesterfield College have recorded a song pleading for more funding from the government.
The college has pledged support for the Love Our College campaign, which is taking place during Colleges Week (October 15-19), to showcase the positive impact further education has on people, business and communities, as well as emphasising the need for better funding and fair pay for staff.
The campaign is asking for parity with school funding, with cuts of 30 per cent over the last ten years resulting in college funding falling significantly behind that of schools.
As well as recording the song, Chesterfield College is also holding a series of events and activities through the week to highlight how further education changes lives and affects the local economy, and is asking local people to share why college matters to them on social media using #LoveOurCollege.
Local MP Toby Perkins is visiting the college today (Monday) to meet students and staff to find out more about what Chesterfield College means to them.
Students will also fill the Heartspace at college with messages highlighting the reasons that they love their college at a special event on Wednesday (October 17) to coincide with a day of national lobby of Parliament.
Julie Richards, Principal and Chief Executive of the Chesterfield College Group, who studied at the college as a 16-year-old, is also calling for local people to pledge their support for the campaign by sharing why college matters to them on social media.
She said: “Studying at Chesterfield College changed my life. I was so inspired by the tutors and my experience here that I decided to pursue a career in education.
"This college has been serving Chesterfield and the surrounding area for over 140 years and I know it will have had an impact on the lives of so many other local people. We would like to hear how so we can demonstrate why further education matters and why it deserves fair funding and fair pay for staff.
"Funding cuts have really bitten in the last few years. In the last decade, college funding has been cut by around 30% which means opportunities further education providers can offer has had to reduce. I don’t want to see local people short-changed. I want to make the government see why colleges matter for our students, our staff, our community and our economy.”
Chesterfield College supports almost 10,000 students and apprentices to learn, train and get on. It also works with over 1,900 employers in the region helping them to develop a skilled workforce.