Learning and Skills Council to take over ACLF funds from April 2004
Ivan Lewis, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Skills and Vocational Education, has announced that the Adult and Community Learning Fund will cease in its present form on 31 March 2004, and the available money will transfer to the Learning and Skills Council from April 2004. This announcement was included in his speech to the NIACE Autumn Policy Conference: ‘Making the Learning Community a Reality’ on 3 December 2003. The decision was also made public in his answer to a Parliamentary Question on 4 November.
The LSC will use the money, working closely with NIACE, to meet their ambitious objectives for widening adult participation in learning and for working more effectively with the voluntary and community sectors. This follows a commitment made in the recent DfES Skills Strategy to build on the experience of the ACLF. The LSC’s strategy document ‘Successful Participation For All’, and its draft strategy for effective working with the voluntary and community sectors (due for consultation in the New Year), set out their intentions to support adult and community learning and build capacity across providers and the LSC.
The LSC is working with NIACE on the way the ACLF money will be used, to ensure the new arrangements are in place from next April. Both NIACE and the LSC are keen to ensure that the good practice gained under ACLF is not lost, and that new projects can start in Spring. Current proposals are not favouring a continuation of bidding rounds, but are suggesting a local/regional networking approach with more involvement of local LSCs.
The LSC’s Widening Adult Participation Implementation Group will make decisions on how the money will be used, and will monitor developments. We will update this page when further information becomes available on how the LSC will use the funds.