Adult Education: Standards

Innovation, Universities and Skills written question – answered on 15th October 2008.

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Photo of David Laws David Laws Shadow Secretary of State (Children, Schools and Families)

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what plans his Department has to require colleges to accept targets from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) for adult education courses which are not themselves funded by the LSC; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Siôn Simon Siôn Simon Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills

We are committed to continuing to increase Government investment in adult skills. Alongside this investment from Government there needs to be a shared responsibility for investment in skills and training by learners and employers, especially where they realise the greatest private returns.

Increasing income through fees, including activity not funded by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is a key part of ensuring there is a full range of provision available to adult learners.

The LSC have developed a consistent national framework designed to help colleges understand the scope they have for increasing fee income. While some colleges have responded very proactively and innovatively to this agenda, increasing both income and choice for learners, other colleges have not seen it as a priority.

We have therefore been working with the LSC, the Learning and Skills Improvement Service and the Association of Colleges to create a package of support consisting of good practice guides, a fees toolkit and workshops. This support is designed to help all colleges understand how they can adopt fee strategies which have seen other colleges expand fee income and increase learner choice.

Alongside this the LSC have introduced fee income targets to ensure that the profile and importance of this agenda is clear to all colleges. This will also ensure that we are able to recognise the overall volume of education and training delivered by FE colleges outside of LSC funding.

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