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Further Education: Reorganisation

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what tasks he has asked each Government Office to undertake in relation to the proposed changes to the funding and management of further education colleges; and if he will make a statement. (244172)

The White Paper ‘Raising Expectations: enabling the system to deliver’, set out proposals to ensure that the needs of learners (young people and adults) and employers are met by a more responsive system. Responsibility for the planning, commissioning and funding for education and training for 16 to 19-year-olds will transfer to local authorities, supported by a new Young People's Learning Agency. For adults we propose to build on the demand led approach, including through the creation of a new Skills Funding Agency and strengthened advice and support services for adults and employers.

Government offices will have no direct role in funding and management of FE colleges in the new system. They will contribute to discussion of regional priorities and support local authorities in undertaking their new responsibilities. They are, and will continue to be, a conduit for information to flow from sub-regional groupings (SRGs) to DCSF. During the transition to the new system Government offices are playing an important role in supporting local authorities and working with other regional bodies to prepare. In particular they have been supporting the development of SRGs in preparation for the transfer of 16-19 funding from the LSC to local authorities. DCSF will be allocating funding via Government offices to SRGs to help build their capacity through this process.

More detail on the pre-19 proposals can be accessed via this link:

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/publications/14-19nextsteps/.

More detail on the Skills Funding Agency can be found in the recently published ‘Adult Skills Reforms: An Update’, accessible via this link:

http://www.dius.gov.uk/policy/raising_expectations.html.