Blog by Activate Learning Group Chief Executive Sally Dicketts.
Folllow Sally on twitter @sallydicketts
Last week David Cameron set out the government’s Prevent strategy aimed at tackling radicalisation.
The speech highlighted the importance of boosting integration in deprived and isolated communities, including ensuring people learn English.
On the same day the Skills Funding Agency revealed that funding for ESOL plus mandation – a programme to improve the language and literacy skills of job seekers – would be withdrawn.
The cut is part of the £450m savings required by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The links between language and community cohesion are clear.
Continue reading “Language skills the key to breaking down barriers”
Sally Dicketts CBE is Chief Executive of Activate Learning
Follow Sally on Twitter @sallydicketts
Further education providers across the country finally received the news they’d been dreading last week as the Skills Funding Agency confirmed cuts to the adult skills budget.
The chopping of 24 per cent off funding for adult learners was delivered with a message that things could in fact have been much worse.
SFA chief executive Peter Lauener announced that a last minute deal with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills managed to cushion an even more devastating 32 per cent reduction. Providers who do not deliver apprenticeships, traineeships, nor English and maths will still face this higher level chop and it is difficult to see them surviving at all.
Cuts are cuts, and it is unlikely that anyone in the further education sector is breathing a sigh of relief at a figure of 24 per cent. For a group such as ours, cuts to the adult skills budget will reduce annual income by £1.4m.
Continue reading “The writing’s on the wall for adult learning”
This week David Cameron pledged to protect per-pupil funding for five to 16 year-olds if the Conservatives are re-elected in May.
The announcement means that post-16 education remains unprotected from potential cuts – the only section of education to be left in such a vulnerable position.
We often talk about the importance of social mobility in our society. I believe that further education offers the greatest opportunities for social mobility. It equips school leavers with the skills and qualifications required for successful careers and enables adults to access higher education or retrain in light of changing circumstances.
However the funding consistently fails to measure up.
Continue reading “Social mobility undermined by spending plans”