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Adult Education

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 19 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills when he last reviewed the definition of non-priority adult education; and if he will make a statement. (150771)

Government funding priorities in further education (FE) have been clearly set out in the Skills Strategy White Paper in 2003, 21st Century Skills—Realising our Potential, reinforced in the 2005 Skills Strategy White Paper, ‘Getting on in business; getting on at work’ and in the White Paper on FE reform, ‘FE, Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances’ (published in March 2006). Most recently, the priorities have been laid out in the Department’s response (published 18 July 2007-www.dius.gov.uk/publications) to Lord Leitch’s report to Government on UK skills, ‘Prosperity for all in the global economy—World class skills.’

These priorities have been implemented through the Secretary of State for Education and Skills’ annual grant letters to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). In turn the LSC communicates the priorities to the FE sector through their Annual Statement of Priorities. The most recent ‘Annual Statement of Priorities-Raising Our Game’ was published in October 2006 and forthcoming priorities for 2008/09 will be published in October 2007 when the CSR settlement is announced.

Government are focusing its resources on these priorities; other provision may be important, but these are where we will focus the majority of public provision.