Truro and Penwith College has welcomed the findings of a highly critical report that condemns a decade of funding cuts and its effect on students.

The Commons Education Select Committee Report called for a major increase in the Further Education funding rate for 16 to 19-year-olds, saying they "should not be treated as a lesser priority.”

It describes post-16 education as being "cut to the core."

The cross-party committee advised that the government must “urgently address the damage that has been done” to Further Education by raising the 16 to 18 base rate as part of a multi-billion cash injection to the sector, and produce a proper ten-year education funding plan to address social injustices and skills shortages.

Truro and Penwith College principal David Walrond said: "When MPs of all parties make the same collective point so powerfully, it can only be hoped that finally government will respond.

"These and other MPs have seen in their own constituencies the damage to life chances and to the local socio-economic fabric.

"This is why they concur that political decisions that have had enormous impacts on young people’s educational opportunities, undermine attempts to tackle social justice."

He added that, as the largest provider of 16 to 19 education and skills training in Cornwall, the college had seen effect of the cuts on thousands of young people, with funding taken back to levels of a quarter of a century ago.

Mr Walrond added: "It has been heartening to see several Cornish MPs go on the record in recent times to make these very points.

"This alarming report now gives all our MPs everything they need to press home the case for investing in Cornwall's young people and our collective future."

The Select Committee states that future funding "should involve a multi-billion pound settlement from Treasury."

The report also argues that "disadvantaged 16 to 19 year olds are not less deserving of support than under-16s. They should not be treated as a lesser priority.”

A spokesperson for the DfE said: "We are glad to see that school and further education funding is being highlighted as an important issue ahead of the next spending review, where the education secretary will back the sector to have the resources they need to deliver world-class standards across the board.”