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Learning and Skills Councils: Finance

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 19 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what plans he has in relation to the discretionary spending powers and resources of the learning and skills councils. (204403)

I have been asked to reply.

The 2008-09 Grant Letter to the LSC sets out a record level of investment for post 16 education and training over the next three years, with some £11.5 billion in 2008-09, raising to over £12 billion in 2009-10, and over £12.5 billion in 2010-11. The LSC has discretion over how these budgets are spent to ensure that young people are able to access learning opportunities that meet their needs, and to meet the skill needs of individuals and employers at national, regional and local level. These decisions are taken within the framework set by the annual Grant Letter, issued jointly by the Secretaries of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and Children, Schools and Families; and relevant PSA targets.

Our proposals in the White Paper ‘Raising Expectations: enabling the system to deliver’, published on 17 March 2008, will move resources and decision making powers away from the LSC. However, these changes require legislation and are unlikely to take full effect until the 2010/11 academic year. Until then the LSC remains legally responsible for funding and commissioning post-16 education and training.