City Lit Blog

Our response to today's Government and Mayor of London announcements

Story added 19th Dec 2019


As we are getting ready for a well-deserved Christmas break, it is pleasing to see announcements today from the Government and the Mayor of London – embracing and committing funding a wider range of adult learning.

In the Queen’s Speech, which sets out the policy priorities for the new government, there was little mention of adult education, but the briefing document from the Conservative Party manifesto included the following points:

  • The Government wants to bring renewed focus to further and technical education, and will ensure our post-16 education system enables young people and adults to gain the skills required for success and to help the economy.
  • This means an extra £400 million for 16-19 year-old education next year, an increase of 7 per cent overall in 16-19 year-old funding and the biggest injection of new money in a single year since 2010.
  • There will also be additional investment in T Levels, supporting continued preparation for these courses with the first three starting from September 2020
  • This means that funding is increasing even faster for 16-19 year-old schooling than for 5-16 year-old schooling.
  • The Government will invest an additional £3 billion over the course of this Parliament to support the creation of a ‘National Skills Fund’.
  • The Government will invest £1.8 billion over five years in a rebuilding programme to upgrade the entire further education college estate.
  • The Government are also planning to establish 20 Institutes of Technology across England- unique collaborations between further education colleges, universities, and employers –– offering higher technical education and training in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects, to give people the skills they need for key sectors such as digital, construction, advanced manufacturing and engineering.
  • The Government is considering the thoughtful recommendations made in the Augar Review carefully.

Read our views on the Augar review in TES FE NEWS 

More good news for adult education today as the Mayor of London announced that funding to teach adults English and maths at GCSE level and below will be increased by 10 per cent next year, a rise of 2.7 million. In addition, Sadiq Khan confirmed his intention to give London’s further education providers greater flexibility to train their staff to better support learners with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), as part of his commitment to create a more inclusive education and training system.

Read more about the Mayor’s plans here

Commenting on both announcements today, Executive Director for External Engagement at City Lit, Phil Chamberlain, said: “To have 2 clear announcements made today by the Mayor of London and the Government, outlining strong commitments to adult learning and further critical investment, is recognition of the importance this sector plays in society.  It is clear that the Mayor recognises the changing nature of work and is keen to ensure all Londoners have the opportunity to gain skills and make the most of their potential in the changing nature of work.  This increase in funding to support adults improve their English and maths skills will help create a more inclusive education system in the capital.   And, for the Government’s future work and investment programme to have such strong commitments to adult learning shows they have been listening to the sector, and could help move towards an education system where all-aging learning is the norm and every individual has the opportunity to take part whenever they choose and in a setting that best suits their needs.”