Prince Charles’s farm school won’t fix wider funding issue

<span>Photograph: WPA/Getty</span>
Photograph: WPA/Getty

Regarding Prince Charles’s new project at Dumfries House in Ayrshire (Prince Charles gets go-ahead for farming school in Scotland, 27 February), is he not aware that Scotland already has six countrywide centres of excellence teaching agricultural studies from national certificate level to degree and postgraduate study? One of them is in fact near Dumfries House, the Ayr campus of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). As well as offering six teaching and research facilities, SRUC also has eight farms, 25 consulting offices and eight veterinary practices.

Instead of raising money to fund a new farm-skills school, it would be better to liaise with the present network of agricultural colleges and work with them to promote traditional skills within existing courses or to establish new courses.

Elitist members of the establishment and government are largely ignorant of the vital role that further education colleges play in many young people’s education and training. They are grossly underfunded and ignored in favour of universities. They deserve more recognition and financial support for their role in offering well-supported, achievable stepping stones to qualifications in further and higher education for learners of all ages.
Margaret McGregor

Interesting to read that Prince Charles is to start a farming school in Ayrshire. Not too many miles further south, Newton Rigg agricultural college in north Cumbria finally closed in July 2021. Apparently it was not financially viable. Do our educational facilities have to be either financially viable or sponsored by the wealthy and well connected?
Anne Kelly