Prime minister David Cameron praises the work of the National Star College
PRIME minister David Cameron has praised the work carried out by a Cotswold specialist college, which could soon be affected by funding cuts.
He was speaking after Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton Brown raised concerns in a Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQ) over future funding for young people with complex disabilities.
From September this year, the Government’s localism agenda means that funding for students attending specialist colleges, such as the National Star College at Ullenwood, will become the responsibility of local authorities.
Because these funds will not be specifically ring-fenced, there are fears that students with disabilities may lose out on education funding if they have not already secured their college place.
Mr Cameron praised "the fantastic work" carried out by the National Star College.
"It does an excellent job in improving the life chances of young people," he said.
He added that he was happy to discuss the issue of funding and the college’s concerns.
The National Star College, which has 170 students and more than 1,600 community users, has been lobbying the Government on the students’ behalf.
David Ellis, chief executive of the National Star Foundation, the charity behind the college, said: "When you devolve funding to the local level it means that the student who has the greatest need may be in one county and the funding is in another and the young person misses out."
Mr Clifton-Brown along with college representatives and Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood recently met David Laws, minister of state for education, to plead the case that central funding be retained.
The minister has pledged to investigate the matter and following last week’s PMQ, a meeting with the prime minister is now also an option.