COLLEGES in south Essex have welcomed plans to increase funding after campaigning for more money for further education.

The Government has announced an extra £400million with South Essex College and USP College among those set to benefit.

Tory Rebecca Harris, MP for Castle Point, said: “This is a very welcome announcement for our local schools and colleges.

“I have recently met with the headteachers of our local secondary schools and the principal of USP College to discuss funding pressures and I know this funding will make a real difference.

“It will help every pupil and student in Castle Point to get the education and start in life they deserve.”

Angela O’Donoghue, principal of South Essex College, said “South Essex College is delighted the Government has listened to college leaders, staff, MPs, businesses, students and stakeholders, all of whom have made it clear that they want more investment in colleges.

“The announcement about additional funding will mean the start of investing more in our young people with a long overdue increase in the base funding rate for 16- and 17-year-olds.

“This will help support the world-class education and training which colleges such as South Essex provide to help our young people to succeed.

“Unfortunately colleges have been overlooked and underfunded for far too long.

“The additional £400million marks the first meaningful investment in further education for 16 to 19-year-olds for more than ten years.

“It’s not enough to reverse the decade of cuts, nor to properly stabilise the sector for the future, but it is a good start and we welcome this support for students in Canvey and surrounding areas.”

Mrs Harris also celebrated the increase in funding for all education.

She claimed the £14billion cash boost will mean each secondary school will receive a minimum of £5,000 per pupil next year and every primary school will get a minimum of £4,000 per pupil from 2021-22, rising at least in line with inflation.

The plans announced by Tory Prime Minister Boris Johnson include £700million for special education needs.