House of Lords - Explanatory Note
Learning And Skills Bill [H.L.] - continued          House of Lords

back to previous text


200.     The proposals in the Bill for a new LSC will require it to assume many of the responsibilities conducted by the FEFC, which will be dissolved, and TECs, whose licences will be terminated. As a result of the changes, the Government expects to secure administrative savings of at least £50m per annum, although in the short term this saving will be abated by costs arising from winding-up existing arrangements and establishing new bodies. It is too early to provide an accurate assessment of these transitional costs.

201.     Additionally, in future, LEAs will no longer receive funds for sixth forms and adult education through the Standard Spending Assessment, but from the new LSC. This is a change in the means by which public funding is allocated and the Government do not expect it to have any consequences for the level of public expenditure.

2027.     It is proposed that the Secretary of State should be given new powers to provide services which support youth participation in education. However, it is not yet possible to provide details of the resources that could be made available for this provision.

203.     The proposals in the Bill extend the duties upon the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED), including inspection of provision in FE colleges for people up to the age of 19. Provisions in the Bill remove its duty to inspect further education made by LEAs for people under the age of 19. Overall this will lead to some additional expenditure by OFSTED. It is not yet possible to provide an accurate estimate.

204.     It is proposed that ALIshould assess the quality of provision for adults and all work-based training, in place of inspection work currently managed through the FEFC and the Training Standards Council. It will also take on the duty to inspect further education provision made by LEAsfor people aged over 19 which will no longer rest with OFSTED. Overall the expenditure on inspection as a result of the provisions of this Bill is not expected to rise substantially.

205.     The Bill also proposes that a new National Council for Education and Training is established in Wales. This will bring estimated accrued savings in public expenditure of £7.5m by 2003 to 2004. It is too early to provide an accurate estimate of the extent of the transitional costs of putting in place the new arrangements. New inspection arrangements are also proposed in Wales which will extend the functions of Estyn (the Welsh Inspectorate) and there will be some additional public expenditure on this service. It is too early to provide a firm estimate.


206.     The LSC and ALI will be non-departmental public bodies. Their staff will not be civil servants but will be paid out of public funds by the Secretary of State. The LSC and ALI are likely to employ a total of around 5000 staff. There will be an increase in the number of staff employed in the public service because some of the activities of the LSC and ALI were formerly conducted by TECs and the Training Standards Council which are private companies. Overall, however, it is likely that the new arrangements will lead to a reduction in the total number of staff, funded by public money, employed to administer post-16 education and training by between 15% and 20%.

207.     The CETW will be an Assembly sponsored Public Body. Its staff will not be civil servants but will be paid out of public funds by the National Assembly for Wales. As in England there will be an increase in the number of staff employed in the public service, however, the new arrangements in Wales are likely to result in a reduction in the total number of staff funded by public money by between 15% and 20%.


208.     The Regulatory Impact Unit (RIU) in the Cabinet Office has been consulted and are content that these proposals will not impose a significant new burden on business or voluntary groups. The RIU does not require a regulatory impact assessment or statement.


209.     The Bill is to come into force in accordance with one or more commencement orders made by the Secretary of State. Provisions relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will come into force in accordance with separate commencement orders. Current plans are that the LSC and the CETW will take up the majority of their functions from April 2001. However, both bodies must be able to make arrangements (such as employ staff and prepare plans) in advance of taking up their full functions. The LSC and ALI will therefore be established before they take on their full functions and the Secretary of State will confer on them by order of such powers on them as he thinks will help them to carry out their full functions before they acquire them. The National Assembly will likewise confer such powers on the CETW.


210.     Section 19 of the Human Rights Act 1998 requires the Minister in charge of the Bill in either House of Parliament to make a statement, before Second Reading, about the compatibility of the provisions of the Bill with the Convention rights (as defined by section 1 of that Act). Baroness Blackstone, the Minister of State for Education and Employment has made the following statement:

    In my view, the provisions of the Learning and Skills Bill [H.L.] are compatible with the Convention rights.



Bibliography of Relevant Documents

  • 'The Learning Age Green Paper' (Cm 3790), published by DfEE, February 1998.

  • 'Learning is for Everyone Green Paper' (Cm 3942), published by the Welsh Office, April 1998

  • 'TECs: Meeting the Challenge of the Millennium' published by DfEE, July 1998

  • 'Improving literacy and numeracy - a fresh start', The report of the working group chaired by Sir Claus Moser (February 1999).

  • 'Quinquennial Review of the Further Education Council for England - Prior Options Review Report', published in March 1999.

  • 'Education and Training Action Plan for Wales', published by the Welsh Office, March 1999

  • White Paper, 'Learning to Succeed - a new framework for post-16 learning', (Cm 4392), published June 1999.

  • 'Learning to Succeed - School Sixth Form Funding: a consultation paper', published by DfEE, June 1999.

  • 'Bridging the Gap - New Opportunities for 16 to 18 year olds not in Education, Employment or Training' (Cm 4405), published by the Social Exclusion Unit in July 1999.

  • 'The Learning and Skills Council Prospectus' published by DfEE, 14 December 1999.



ACCAC          Awdurdod Cymhwysterau, Cwricwlwm ac Asesu Cymru

                    (the Qualifications & Curriculum Authority for Wales)

ALC               Adult Learning Committee

ALI               Adult Learning Inspectorate

CCTEs          Chambers of Commerce, Training and Enterprise

CETW          National Council for Education and Training for Wales

                    (the equivalent of the LSC in Wales)

                    (Cyngor Addysg a Hyfforddiant Cenedlaethol I Gymru)

CIAL               Chief Inspector of Adult Learning, also called the Chief Officer

DfEE               Department for Education and Employment

ESTYN          Her Majesty's Inspectorate for Education and Training

                    in Wales (Arolygiaeth Ei Mawrhydi Dros Addysg A                     Hyfforddiant yng Nghymru.)

FE               Further Education

FEFCE          Further Education Funding Council (for England)

                    (referred to as 'the old Council')

FEFCW           Further Education Funding Council (for Wales)

FEFCs               FEFCE and FEFCW collectively

FHE               Further and Higher Education

HE               Higher Education

HMCI               Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools in England

ISB               Individual Schools Budget

LSC               Learning and Skills Council (England)

LEA               Local Education Authority

LLP               Local Learning Partnership

LSB               Local Schools Budget

NAW               National Assembly for Wales

                    (referred to as 'the National Assembly')

OFSTED          Office for Standards in Education

QCA               Qualifications and Curriculum Authority

RDA               Regional Development Agency

RIU               Regulatory Impact Unit

RSG               Revenue Support Grant

SEN               Special Educational Needs

SEU               Social Exclusion Unit

TECs               Training and Enterprise Councils

TSC               Training Standards Council

YPLC               Young People's Learning Committee








Refer to Commentary on:



Learning and Skills Council for England

Clause 1


Local Councils

Clause 19


Committees (England)

Clause 26


National Council for Education and Training for Wales

Clause 30


Committees (Wales)

Clause 45


The Adult Learning Inspectorate

Clause 49



Failing Sixth Forms

Part V



Education (Fees and Awards) Act 1983

Further & Higher Education Act 1992

Employment Rights Act 1996

Education Act 1996

School Inspections Act 1996

School Standards and Framework Act 1998


Part V

Part V

Part V

Part V

Part V

Part V





Commentary on Schedules 1 to 6 can be found within the Commentary on Clauses at the clause number listed in the final column.

Commentary for Schedules 7 and 8 can be found at the end of Part V.

There is no commentary on Schedule 9.

previous section contents  
House of Commons home page Houses of Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries ordering

© Parliamentary copyright 1999
Prepared: 17 December 1999