I am announcing today that the new Skills Funding Agency, an agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, became operational from 1 April 2010. This follows the announcement in the White Paper “Raising Expectations: enabling the system to deliver”, which was published jointly with DCSF on 17 March 2008.
The Skills Funding Agency takes over responsibility for funding post-19 education and skills training from the Learning and Skills Council for England, which has been abolished under the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009. The budget and overarching priorities and targets for the agency have already been published in the Government’s “Skills Investment Strategy”, a copy of which can be found on the Department’s website at www.bis.gov.uk.
The chief executive of Skills Funding, as a statutory office holder, will report to the Secretary of State on the performance of the Skills Funding Agency, and will prepare an annual report and accounts for each financial year which will be laid before Parliament.
Ministers of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills are accountable to Parliament for the work of the Skills Funding Agency.
Further information on the accountability and governance framework for the Skills Funding Agency and the relationship with the Department is set out in the Skills Funding Agency framework document, copies of which will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.