HC Deb 19 December 2003 vol 416 cc67-8W
Mr. Willis

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what instructions he has given to(a) Learning and Skills Councils and (b) local education authorities regarding the provision of non-vocational community education; and if he will make a statement. [144626]

Mr. Ivan Lewis

As set out in the Skills Strategy White Paper, "21st Century Skills Realising our Potential", in each local area the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is responsible for securing a full range of lifelong learning opportunities for adults suitable to meet local needs. Adult and Community Learning programmes will be seen as an integral part of the wider learning opportunities for the areas.

To safeguard the availability of these types of learning, the Government and the LSC have agreed an overall indicative budget to support non-qualification bearing programmes. That budget covers, for example, family learning, learning for older people, active citizenship, community development, and learning through cultural activities.

From within that national budget, the LSC will agree with local LSCs a minimum figure to spend on such learning activities. Each local LSC will now decide with its local partners-including local education authorities, colleges, community and voluntary groups-the priorities for spending those funds in order to maximise the civic, social and cultural gain for the area.

Mr. Willis

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the resources allocated by central Government to non-vocational community education in the years 1997–98 to 2003–04. [144627]

Mr. Ivan Lewis

I have set out in the following tables figures for expenditure as set by central Government for (i) adult and community learning run through local education authorities; (ii) learndirect; and (iii) Skills for Life. Together these equate most closely to non-vocational community education.

Adult and community learning
Date Funding (£ million)1
2000–01 145
2001–02 153
2002–03 183
2003–04 206
1 Annual budget, by financial year, on adult and community learning run through local education authorities (recurrent figures). The figures for 2002–03 and 2003–04 include the budgets for neighbourhood learning and family learning, starting from a nil base in 2001–02. Prior to 2000–01, national figures are not available for adult and community learning as responsibility adult and community learning rested with local education authorities.
Date (academic year) Funding (£ million)1
1999/2000 5 (pilot)
2000/01 49
2001/02 134
2002/03 171
2003/04 178
1Figures for learndirect do not go back further than 1999/2000, as it was not in existence before that date.
Skills for Life
Date (academic year) Funding (£ million)1
2001/02 253
2002/03 259
2003/04 290
1Figures do not go back before 2001/02 as the Skills for Life programme began in 2001.