package for adult education. The£9m cash boost will reverse years of
decline giving local authorities the scope to widen participation in
adult education by developing Lifelong Learning Development Plans.
'The new funding will give local authorities fresh scope to bring
adult education up to date. I want to see all local authorities - not
just some of our better local education authorities such as
Manchester, Birmingham or Cornwall - using this new resource
imaginatively to open up local opportunities to local people. New
government funding for adult and community learning provides an
historic opportunity for local authorities to open up new ways of
learning to their local constituents.'
The minister stressed that the local authorities might do more to:
- use local community centres or schools for family learning to bring
learning closer to where people live
- work together with local voluntary groups to provide adult literacy
lessons to those from disadvantaged estates
- use new technology to bring IT skill classes to cyber cafes and
Mr Mudie said:
'During the next financial year we will be making£9m available for
adult education through the Standards Fund. More funds will be
available over the following two years to help local authorities
implement their development plans. This is new money on top of what
LEAs already spend on adult education.
'We expect local authorities to use this money not only to develop
adult education services but to get the whole authority - the library
service, economic regeneration services, social services, and other
local services - working with its partners in further education
colleges, TECS, community organisations and others, to develop
innovative strategies for lifelong learning in their communities.
'Local authorities will need to develop Lifelong Learning Development
Plans setting targets to widen participation and improve standards in
adult education. They should dovetail with those of local authorities
for the education of children, to ensure a truly comprehensive
approach to learning through life for all.'
'The funding can also be used to help implement the plans - for
example by setting up lifelong learning networks together with local
partners, to pay for staff to co-ordinate activity to put the plans
into action, and to improve local services. We will be working with
local authorities to develop baseline information to support this
work. With a positive response from local authorities, I am confident
that over the next three years we will see a much greater emphasis on
community based learning for people of all ages in line with the
Government,s aim to support local authorities in improving local
services and accountability to the local community.'
Education and employment secretary David Blunkett said:
'This new initiative is part of the government's widerstrategy for
community learning. Together with the Adult and Community Learning
Fund, the New Deal for Communities, the work of the new Policy Action
Team on the skills of adult residents of disadvantaged
neighbourhoods, the Community Access to Learning Fund, and our plans
to widen participation in further and higher education we have put in
place a strong, coherent package of measures that will help achieve
the vision of a learning society we set out in 'The Learning Age'.'
1. Lifelong Learning Development Plans will need to set out targets
and plans for widening participation in, promoting quality in adult
learning, and the measures local authorities will be taking to
develop links across the authority between key services such as adult
education and the library service. Funding can also be used for
supporting measures to build capacity in local authority adult
education services. Funding is intended in part to help local
authorities make use of the range of government funding available for
adult learning and to play their full part in local learning
2. The plans are being funded through a new Standards Fund grant and
funding will be on a 50/50 matched basis with local authorities and
allocated according to the size of local population. Local
authorities have until mid February to put in an action plan setting
out how they intend to develop and implement Lifelong Learning
Development Plans. Full guidance about the plans will be issued by
the department in October. Local authorities will be encouraged to
develop their Lifelong Learning Development Plans alongside other
relevant plans such as Education Development Plans.
3. The DfEE's national audit of local authority adult education will
take place early next year. It will enable local authorities as well
as national government to take stock of current practice and serve as
a baseline against future progress can be measured. Local authorities
will also be encouraged to use OFSTED's Framework for Inspection as a
means of evaluating adult education and to use the criteria
successfully employed by OFSTED in its inspections of adult
education, as a way of monitoring performance on a regular basis.
4. On 15 September, the prime minister launched a cross cutting
report on England's most socially disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The
report recommended the establishment of 18 Policy Action Teams to
address the issues raised. One of these will be concerned with the
skills of adult residents in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The team
will deliver its final report in July 1999.
5. Community Access to Lifelong learning is of three new initiatives
announced by the prime minister under the lottery. The three will share an extra£400m from the lottery's New Opportunities fund. DCMS will consult the public for their views shortly. The Community Access initiative will help provide a step-change in access to lifelong learning, in particular by providing IT learning centres for the University for Industry, by linking up the National Grid for Learning and local libraries, and helping to bring adults back into learning.