HC Deb 22 June 1999 vol 333 cc330-1W
Mr. Jim Murphy

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he will publish his report on the discharge of his duties in relation to Further Education in Scotland; and if he will make a statement. [87989]

Dr. Reid

My report on Further Education in Scotland for 1998 was published today. Copies are available in the Library of the House.

The Report, entitled "Further Education in Scotland 1998: Report by the Secretary of State for Scotland", details this Government's commitment to widening access to further education and providing lifelong learning opportunities for all.

During 1998 that commitment was backed by a Comprehensive Spending Review settlement identifying an additional £214 million for investment in further education over three years. We also set a new target for the expansion of FE provision. In three year's time the Government expects to see at least 40,000 more students embarking on courses in further education colleges, and from groups which to date have been under-represented among student numbers.

New initiatives and new resources will help both to stabilise and modernise the FE sector, ensuring that it can fulfil its role at the heart of the Government's lifelong learning agenda for the new millennium.

Our vision for further education is focused and clear. So too is our expectation that the FE colleges will work together in partnership in rising to meet the challenges which lie ahead.

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