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NIACE warmly welcomes adult learning proposals


Quick off the mark, the National Association for Adult and Continuing Education has given fast endorsement to the new Government proposals, calling it "a red letter day for adult learners".

NIACE comment:

What adults need from a lifelong learning policy is coherence and diversity. For the first time they have the prospect of this with the Government's White Paper. NIACE warmly welcomes the framework outlined in 'Learning to succeed'.

'Whilst there will be a great deal of work to do on the detail, the proposals outlined in the paper provide a platform to achieve the vision of a learning age' said Alan Tuckett, Director of NIACE. 'The strength of the proposals lie in the ending of the artificial divide between schedule 2 and non-schedule 2; the imaginative new duty given to local authorities; the endorsement of the role of lifelong learning partnerships, and the clear strategic duty residing in the Learning and Skills Council', he said.

'By contrast, NIACE believes the new arrangements for inspection risk being a dog's breakfast. There will be a continuation of the burden on colleges - who risk having two sets of inspectors looking at the same courses.'

Youth and adult services will be overseen by different inspectors - even where they are planned and delivered together. In its submission to the review NIACE argued for a single inspectorate for post-compulsory education since the experience of the 1990s in England is that different inspectorates failed to co-operate adequately, whilst a single inspectorate worked well in Wales.

Despite this, however, the changes in the White Paper mark a major step forward in the creation of a learning society sensitive to the requirements of adult learners.


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