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Martin Couzins

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Government announces consultation on adult education


The Government has launched a consultation setting out its proposals for the overhaul of adult learning in the UK.

The consultation document entitled New Challenges, New Chances includes proposals ranging from informal adult and community learning to data requirements on colleges and is a follow-up to the Government’s strategy for further education and skills, published last November.

New Challenges, New Chances consists of one overall consultation and two more detailed consultations focusing on further education loans and informal adult and community learning.

Proposals include:

  • Providing greater freedoms and flexibilities and further reduce the burden of bureaucracy on further education and skills providers.
  • Improving the quality of teaching and learning for adults.
  • Strengthening further education and skills providers’ capacity to offer training at higher education level.
  • Reviewing and improving basic literacy and numeracy provision for adults.
  • More Government support for informal adult and community learning.
  • Introduction of loans from the 2013/14 academic year providing access to advanced and higher level courses.

Secretary of state for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, said: "We believe that the further education and skills sector is at the heart of our economic and educational policies. With better informed, more empowered learners and providers freed from petty bureaucracy, post-school adult learning will take its rightful place at the heart of our communities."

The consultation will close on Friday 21 October 2011.

To download a copy of the consultation or to respond to it go to

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