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The lecturers’ union has criticised the price of cancelled free college tasks

Nearly £140m has been “wasted” on free faculties and different new sorts of college, which both closed early or did not open in any respect, says a lecturers’ union.

The Nationwide Union of Academics mentioned the cash was spent on 62 free faculties, college technical schools and studio faculties which both closed, partially closed or didn’t open.

The NUT mentioned the info was primarily drawn from authorities web sites.

The Division for Training mentioned free faculties had been widespread with mother and father.

The figures had been revealed by the Nationwide Union of Academics throughout its annual convention – which had highlighted issues about college price range shortages.

The union’s common secretary Kevin Courtney mentioned ministers ought to apologise to lecturers and fogeys for the £138.5m “thrown away” on these deserted tasks.

‘Appalling waste’

“These figures clarify that the free college, UTC and studio college programmes had been ill-thought insurance policies which, in lots of circumstances, resulted in an appalling waste of serious sums of cash,” mentioned Mr Courtney.

College technical schools (UTCs) and studio faculties have an emphasis on vocational abilities for 14 to 19-year-olds.

“Within the case of the closed UTCs, a median of £10m was spent on every college, rising to £15m within the case of Tottenham UTC.

“That sums of this magnitude have been thrown away at a time when faculties throughout the nation are crying out for funding for workers, to offer a broad and balanced curriculum and to make sure important sources and gear can be found, is felony.”

Training Secretary Justine Greening this week introduced that 131 new faculties had been authorized below the free college programme, creating round 69,000 locations.

‘Extra alternative’

Free faculties are state faculties which might be exterior of native authority networks and that are arrange by teams resembling academy trusts, charities, mother and father and group teams.

There at the moment are about 800 free faculties both open or within the pipeline.

The NUT mentioned the £138.5m on the closed or unopened faculties would have paid for three,680 lecturers for a yr.

Mr Courtney added: “The true price of those coverage failures is even better. There’s a human price within the disruption induced to the schooling of the 1000’s of these pupils who attended faculties which have closed.

“Often it’s native authorities who’ve needed to choose up the items by discovering various locations for the displaced youngsters.

“The NUT’s largest concern is that the federal government is intent on continuing with these programmes regardless of rising proof that the UTC and studio faculties programmes can’t appeal to ample numbers of pupils.”

Labour’s shadow schooling secretary, Angela Rayner, mentioned it was additional proof that the “free faculties programme is a deeply inefficient manner to offer the brand new college locations which might be desperately wanted”.

The Division for Training mentioned free faculties had been widespread with mother and father and their creation had given mother and father extra decisions find good native faculties.

“The development prices of a newly-built free college are 29% decrease than these constructed below the earlier college constructing programme,” mentioned an schooling division spokeswoman.

“In addition they function below a way more strong accountability system than council-run faculties, which means we are able to take swift motion to take care of underperformance.”