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Foster, Funding and the Future of Adult Learning

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Skills for Life Network

A NIACE conference to support debate around the recently published report on the review of the future role of FE Colleges

Foster, Funding and the Future of Adult Learning Friday 13 January 2006, in Leicester

‘Last November Sir Andrew Foster was invited by the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, and Chair of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to carry out a review of the future role of FE colleges. During the course of the review Sir Andrew invited written evidence from colleges and others, commissioned research and think pieces, held a series of meetings and workshops with key stakeholders, and also visited some colleges. Sir Andrew’s report, published on 15 November, sets out a vision for FE colleges and a clear set of values. It also sets out key recommendations that Sir Andrew believes need to be implemented if that vision is to be realised.

The prospects for 2006 and beyond are not good. The Foster Review recognises the importance of further education but devotes little attention to the role of the colleges in widening participation and the to needs of adults other than those looking for basic skills and a first Level 2.

The NIACE-sponsored report ‘Eight in Ten’ is more critical of what it describes as the unintended consequences of current policies and makes the case for a new approach to a lifelong learning strategy and to the funding of adult learning. It argues that insufficient regard has been paid to changing demography and to wider societal needs.

These are difficult times for much of adult learning. NIACE has major concerns about the dangers of what it believes may be the unintended consequences of current policies, about the apparent disregard of demographic considerations, about the lack of coherent policy on lifelong learning. We hope you will wish to join us on January 13th to debate these issues.

To reserve a place using the Online Conference Reservation facility (OCR) visit the NIACE website.


For further information on the Foster report, visit the LSC website.

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