The ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign saw colleges, education unions and students showcasing what they do and raising awareness of the funding challenges the sector faces.
The week long crusade, running from 15 -19 October, was a partnership between the Association of Colleges, NUS students’ union, Association of College and School Leaders, University and College Union (UCU), GMB, TUC, National Education Union and Unison.
As part of the campaign, over 53,000 people signed a petition urging the government to increase college funding to sustainable levels and give college staff fair pay. You can still go online and sign the petition here.
At colleges up and down the country, students and staff took part in a range of activities to highlight what they loved about their colleges, and the inspirational effect further education can have on individuals’ everyday lives, careers and sense of worth.
The climax of the week-long campaign was a national lobby of parliament and rally held on Wednesday 17 October, which saw principals lobbying MPs and thousands of learners, staff and leaders marching and rallying in Parliament Square. The crowds were addressed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, shadow education secretary Angela Raynor and the Association of Colleges chief executive, David Hughes.
“It’s the most amazing show by colleges ever,” said David Hughes.
“We’re here to really shout out about how proud we are about what colleges can achieve, and we are making a noise in parliament, we are sending a message to government,”
“We’re not after handouts. We’re after investment,” he said.