Queens Speech. Proposals for the statute book would transform post 16
education and training, drive up standards, address the skill needs
of business and the community and build a learning society for all.
- establish a new Learning and Skills Council responsible for the
planning and funding of all post 16 education and training - up to
higher education - in England. Its 47 local councils would have
the flexibility to ensure that local skill and community learning
needs will be met;
- raise standards through a rigorous inspection regime to be
undertaken, jointly where appropriate, by Ofsted and a new Adult
- pave the way for the creation of a new youth support service to
encourage and enable young people to stay on in education or
- establish a new Council for Education and Training for Wales, and
enable the National Assembly to put in place new structures for
post 16 learning.
Education and employment secretary David Blunkett said: 'As we move into the next century, the demands of the information and knowledge based economy place a premium on investment in human capital. We also want to build a civilised and cohesive society in which everyone is able to play their full part.
'We therefore need to create a highly skilled workforce, and nurture
a love of learning. The existing system is inadequate to achieve
'The new legislation would build a new framework around the needs of
learners, rather than the providers of education and training. We
have listened to the views of business, and of representatives of
communities, and the new arrangements make sure that what is on offer
responds to the needs of consumers. The new Learning and Skills Council and inspection regime would also drive up standards across all post 16 learning.
'Waste, duplication and unnecessary competition would be stripped
away - the new arrangements would produce substantial savings of at
'I am encouraged by the support we have had from business for their
central role in the new arrangements. I look forward to working with
business leaders and other key partners as we develop the detail of
The new Learning and Skills Council will be operational from April
2001, subject to the necessary passage of legislation. The Council
will have a budget of around£5bn and provide education and training for over 5 million learners.
1. The Bill will cover England and Wales. It will provide for the
setting up of the National Council for Education and Training in
Wales, and for other new structures and arrangements for post-16
learning in Wales.
2. The white paper, Learning to Succeed, published on 30 June set
out proposals to replace the Further Education Funding Council and
the training functions of Training and Enterprise Councils, with a
new non departmental public body, the Learning and Skills Council.
The new council would be responsible for funding, planning and
quality-assuring all post 16 learning up to higher education. The
white paper also announced the setting up of a new inspection
regime for post 16 learning. Also issued at the same time as the
white paper was a consultation document on school sixth-form
funding, and a transition plan for post 16 education and training
and the local delivery of the small business service.
3. On 28 October (PN 473/99) David Blunkett announced that
business would have a central role in the proposed new Learning
and Skills Council - the chairs and 40% of the local/national
board members would have recent business experience. He also
announced that there would be 47 local learning and skills
councils; and that the head office of the national Learning and
Skills Council and the Adult Learning Inspectorate would be in
4. Copies of the White Paper Learning to Succeed are available
from the Stationery Office and bookshops - enquiries 0870 6005522.