Lambeth highlights concerns over government’s adult learning approach

12 December 2022

Written by: Lambeth Council

News and announcements

Lambeth Council has called on the Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan MP to do more to support adult learners after expressing “deep concern” over new government proposals.

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Lambeth highlights concerns over government’s adult learning approach

Cllr Jacqui Dyer, cabinet member for Inclusive Economy and Equalities, has outlined concerns around the level of accountability and the funding model for adult learning in the government’s consultation on Funding and Accountability.

The council believes the current proposals do not recognise the value of upskilling to maximise the social and economic benefits for local people and focus too heavily on employment outcomes.

During the cost-of-living crisis, we believe it is more important than ever to support those looking for long-term learning as well as those seeking immediate employment. It is critical for adult learners to find a pathway into employment which enables them to be financially resilient, for themselves and their families, something that is even more important as families contend with the cost of living crisis.

The letter outlines how proposals to remove the funding ringfence would “devastate the ability” of adult learners to contribute to the social, economic and health priorities of local, regional, and national governments.

The removal of the ring fence, as well as the focus on learners finding immediate employment, would undermine the wider benefits of learning and upskilling in the longer term.

Cllr Dyer has also called on the Department for Education to devolve more decision making around adult learning to sub-regional partnerships and local councils, so they can respond to localised challenges or skill gaps.

Adult Education budget Lambeth Council