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Association of Colleges Denounce “Funding Shambles” That Short Changes Adult Learners

The AoC claimed this week that pressure to meet government targets has forced the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to divert funds away from adult learning. They say that up to 200,000 places on adult education courses will be lost from this September, and that the funding shortage will become even worse over the next couple of years.

AoC Chief Executive Dr John Brennan spoke out about the problem at the start of the official “Adult Learners Week”. “There is a clear difference between the government’s celebration of adult learning week and the funding cuts imposed on colleges who provide adult learning”, he said. He believes that the government has failed to put enough money into the system to meet all its priorities, and that the national target to deliver a level 2 entitlement is at the root of the problem.

To meet the target, the LSC must concentrate its adult learning budget on areas that provide the level 2 qualification. This has forced colleges to axe courses that don”t fit in with the strategy, including some that cater for students with severe learning difficulties. Andy Wilson, Principal of Westminster Kingsway College, said: “It appears the government will no longer subsidise the type of education that doesnt have qualifications.”

Joe Paget

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