Rob Wye, Director of Strategy and Communications, Learning and Skills Council.

I enjoyed reading the views of your correspondents on how the LSC should spend its money. It's always good to hear the views of our many partners. The Secretary ofState for Education, Alan Johnson has sent us the outline for next year's expenditure in our Grant Letter. And I was pleased to see how much of what our partners wanted from us is actually reflected in our funding and planning priorities for 2007-08.

We will be investing a record £11.2 billion in 2007-08. One priority is to raise the opportunities and participation of young people in learning. We will be investing around £7 billion in this, and a key target for us is to get 90% of 17 year olds in education or training by 2015. And we want to raise the skills of the nation "“and will be investing over £3 billion to help over 4 million adults and thousands of employers to improve their skills.

We also want to build a world-class FE system, so we will be spending £600 million in buildings and learning environments to improve facilities. An additional £181 million will be invested in specialist colleges for Learners with Learning Disabilities and/or Difficulties. Plus over £800 million will be spent on learner support and development, including efforts to engage more learners from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The sector is achieving at a remarkable rate: one million adults have achieved essential Level 2 qualifications since 2002, and we are six months ahead of our target to have 3.6 million adults with Level 2 qualifications by 2010. These sorts of results can literally transform people's lives, allowing them to progress in learning and work.

Stephen Williams MP and Lawrence Miles of the IVA talked about narrowing the funding gap between school sixth forms and FE colleges. We are committed to this, which is why next year, we are increasing the base rates for 16-18 provision by 3.7 per cent in line with the Minimum Funding Guarantee in schools. Stephen suggested that the LSC is not investing in training England's ageing population. In fact, we are putting an additional £460 million into our Train to Gain programme, in order to help half a million adults gain a Level 2. Train to Gain particularly targets those already in work who may have missed out on formal education or training for one reason or another. Plus we have safeguarded expenditure on Personal and Community Development Learning (PCDL) at £210 million for next year.

Claire Donovan from the EEF mentioned the importance of investing in higher-level skills, for businesses. In fact overall the LSC spends more on Level 3 and above than we do on Level 2. Train to Gain not only provides qualifications at Level 2, but will organise provision up to Level 4. The LSC is supporting the development of 12 National Skills Academies by 2008. The curriculum in the academies will be led by employers and will provide a strong vocational route for both young people and adults.

In terms of fees, we believe that it is only right that those individuals and employers that can afford it should pay for part of the cost of their learning. Our assumption is that fees will be increased from an average of £1.73 per hour to £2.05 for courses in 2007-08; this represents 37.5% of the total cost. This will not affect adults on means-tested benefit. MORI polling actually suggests that the majority of adults think that taking an FE course is a good investment and over half say that either they or their employer should pay at least 50 per cent of the cost of vocational courses.

As Alison West of the NEC identified, the reputation of FE is growing and the sector is achieving at a remarkable rate. The Government signalled its support for the sector, and the LSC in the recent FE Bill, but also emphasised the importance of widening consultation with learners and employers and increasing local decision-making.

As Graham Hoyle of ALP identified, our future approach to funding will be more demand-led. Our Chief Executive Mark Haysom spoke about this at the recent Association of Colleges Conference when he talked about the LSC becoming more of a market-maker and encouraging greater choice and diversity in the sector. Opening up the market doesn"t mean that we don"t see teaching and learning at the heart of the sector's achievements - but it is essential that this is twinned with a good business sense, in order to increase the value for money and stature of the sector.

We are keen to listen more. This month, our Chairman Chris Banks helped launch the National Learner Panel. This will consult with learners on our all our policies and is supported by organisations such as the National Union of Students.

Graham and Stephen also talked about efficiency, and as recently announced by theGovernment, the LSC will be further streamlining its non-executive councils in order to become more efficient and locally-focused. In 2007-08 we will put in place nine regional councils with 153 local partnership teams in place to work at a more local level with our partners in the community. We have already saved £40 million through restructuring our organisation over the past year and will continue to save money through cutting out "red tape". We will be implementing data reforms such as Managing Information Across Partners (MIAP), which will allow us to share data across the sector and cut out repetitive collection.

The overwhelming majority of our budget is spent on the front-line delivery of programmes and facilities for learners and employers - administrative costs represent only about 2.5% of our budget. This is comparable to, and in many cases, lower than, a large number of organisations, including major charities. But, as an organisation we are aware that we have a lot more hard work to do. We must be bolder in our approach, and must continue to work hand-in-hand with our partners across the sector to implement the dynamic changes that are needed if England is to continue to compete in the 21st Century.

Rob Wye, Director of Strategy and Communications, Learning and Skills Council.

Related FE News articles:

"Let's Seize This Opportunity" "“ 01/12/06

Listening to Learners "“ 27/11/06

"ESOL Exams Should Be Fit For Purpose" "“ 24/11/06

"Give Language Ideas A Go" "“ 24/11/06

FE News Talks to Rob Wye "“ 23/11/06

"Fund Those Areas of FE That Need Help" "“ 20/11/06

"Redirect Resources to the Frontline" "“ 17/11/06

"Definition of Skills is Peculiar" "“ 16/11/06

"Focus on Sector Needs" "“ 15/11/06

"Reduce the 16-19 Funding Gap" "“ 14/11/06

"Funding Should Drive Demand-Led Skills Strategy" "“ 13/11/06

"Government Must Tackle Funding Crisis" "“ 13/11/06

"

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 3 hours 49 minutes ago

Birmingham Based School’s IT excellence recognised by the Government’s Department for Education: Pheasey Park Farm… https://t.co/oybk5A5J4v
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page