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Further Education

Volume 490: debated on Monday 30 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what plans he has for the future role of post-16 specialist colleges in provision of education and training; and what mechanisms are in place for discussions between the Skills Funding Agency and local authorities acting as local commissioners. (266066)

Specialist colleges are, and will continue to be, an important part of the FE delivery landscape. The funding received by these colleges, which is currently provided by the Learning and Skills Council, will, from 2010 onwards, be provided through the Skills Funding Agency or local authorities.

Under the new arrangements providers will have a single conversation with a dedicated Skills Funding Agency Account Manager about funding their adult education and training provision.

For 16 to 19 education and training provision, local authorities will lead this conversation. Strategic priorities will be set by Regional Planning Groups whose membership will include: local authorities, the Regional Development Agency, Skills Funding Agency, Young People's Learning Agency and Government Office. This collaboration will inform, challenge, and question the alignment of 16 to 19 commissioning with skills and economic priorities.