The British Association of Teachers of the Deaf
Promoting Excellence in Deaf Education

Learning and Skills Council update

Elizabeth Mackinder

Funding priorities for 2006/07 and 2007/08
The new priorities for the Learning and Skills Council have been published in 'Priorities for Success: Funding for Learning and Skills'.

This publication sets out how the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) will implement Government priorities for the sector, building upon increases in participation, achievement and the quality of provision achieved.

The priorities for the next two years are:

  • embedding 14-19 reforms and raising attainment of level 2 at 19
  • supporting low skilled adults in acquiring basic skills and progressing to level 2 and above
  • increasing employer engagement and increasingly meeting the needs of employers
  • continuing to raise standards throughout education and training.

In addition Ruth Kelly has written to the LSC (LSC Grant Letter 2006-07) to set out the strategic direction for the post-16 learning and skills sector and the funding approach to be used for 2006-07 and 2007-08.

This document states that the key priorities above require realigning the funding strategy to support the public service agreement targets on Apprenticeships and the roll-out of the National Employer Training Programme (NETP).

The overall public funding in this sector is to be maintained. However, to meet the national priorities, longer and more expensive courses for adults will be provided to equip them with the range of skills needed for employability and further progression to higher levels of training.

For 14-19 learning there are three priorities: delivering improvements in achievement for young people in the system now, reforming qualifications and curriculum including Key Stage 3 and securing delivery on the ground. To achieve these priorities the LSC will need to collaborate with other key partners and local authorities. The aim is to improve outcomes for 14-19 year olds.

Organisational developments for the 16-19 sector will be key in order to attract new providers into the market. Developments include the creation of the new 16-19 Academies and sixth form colleges, implementation of school sixth form 'presumption' arrangements and new 16-19 competition.

Maximising attainment of Level 2 by age 19 is critical. This includes the drive to improve successful completion of Apprenticeships and progression to Foundation Degrees. Pilots for 16-17 year olds ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training’ or in jobs with training and a new 're-engagement programme' for 14-16 year olds should contribute to this target.

Further details on these funding priorities can be found on the LSC website

EMA extended to LSC funded e2e and PLP learners
From April 2006 young people on LSC funded Entry to Employment (e2e) and Programme Led Pathways (PLP) will be able to claim educational maintenance allowances (EMA).

EMA aims to encourage 16 year olds to participate in non-compulsory education, particularly those from lower income backgrounds, thus widening participation.

Through EMA young people living in a household with an annual income of up to £30,000 can receive £10, £20 or £30 each week providing they attend their course regularly. They can also qualify for bonus payments to recognise good performance and continued attendance.

For further information call 0800 056 2811 or check out the the EMA website

School Governors' Guide to the LSC
A new guide for school governors about the LSC and its key initiatives has been sent to secondary school governors.

The guide explains the role and structure of the LSC and how it works with the schools. It outlines key LSC initiatives and their relevance to the school governors.

The School Governors' Guide to the LSC is available on the LSC website

Further copies of the guide can be ordered on 0870 900 6800

BATOD Magazine January 2006