Document Abstract

Devolution of the adult education budget (House of Commons Library briefing paper no 8596)

Discusses the devolution of the Adult Education Budget from the 2019-20 academic year. Explains that the majority of public funding for non-apprenticeship adult (19+) further education in England is provided through the Adult Education Budget (AEB), and whether a learner is eligible for AEB funding outside of the statutory entitlements depends on personal circumstances, with funding generally focused on lower skill levels, younger adults, and the unemployed. Notes that the AEB will be transferred to six Mayoral Combined Authorities (Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley, West Midlands and West of England) and the Greater London Authority (GLA) from the 2019-20 academic year. Describes the functions due to be transferred to devolved authorities. Explains that the devolved authorities will be responsible for commissioning and contracting AEB provision for learners in their local areas, to meet the needs of residents and the local economy. Highlights the statutory requirements and funding allocations available (£632 million in total). Outlines plans for the allocation of the AEB in London (£306.4 million), the Skills for London framework, the Skills for Londoners strategy and priorities for reform. Highlights potential issues that have been raised regarding the devolution of the AEB including concerns over: limited scope for innovation because of the need to fund statutory entitlements for eligible learners; fragmentation of the adult skills system; and devolution of other areas of funding.


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Foster, David
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House of Commons Library

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