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Adult Education

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 23 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to whom a complaint from (a) a student aged 19 years or over and (b) an apprentice aged 19 years or over and attending a (i) further education college and (ii) sixth form college will be referred if the student is dissatisfied with that college’s response to their complaint after 1 April 2010; and if he will make a statement. (323298)

The current policy for complaints from a student aged 19 years or over is that they can complain to the relevant regional office of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) which funds the further education college or sixth form college in question. The LSC would only consider such complaints once the college’s own internal complaints procedure has been fully exhausted.

From 1 April 2010, complaints from learners aged 19 years and over will be dealt with by the chief executive of Skills Funding. Complaints about sixth form colleges will be dealt with by the relevant local authority and subsequently directed to the Local Government Ombudsman if the complainant continues to remain dissatisfied. All complaints from Apprentices will be directed to the Skills Funding Agency after exhausting the provider mechanisms.

The Legal Team of the Learning and Skills Council are currently revising the complaints procedures for both the Skills Funding Agency and the Young People’s Learning Agency in preparation for the transition on 1 April 2010.