Changes, not cuts, to courses

PUBLISHED: 09:35 03 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:43 15 June 2010

May I put the record straight with regard to adult education courses provided by Devon County Council, and recent stories I have read about cuts to the number of modern language courses being offered? All our adult education courses are heavily subsidised

May I put the record straight with regard to adult education courses provided by Devon County Council, and recent stories I have read about cuts to the number of modern language courses being offered?All our adult education courses are heavily subsidised by the Government's Learning and Skills Council (LSC), who focus their funding on courses that lead to qualifications. Very little funding is given for non-qualification courses, and even that is reducing significantly each year.The LSC set us targets on the number of courses we offer that lead to a qualification, and they reduce our funding if we do not meet their targets.That has led to a change in the modern language courses we provide; from courses that did not lead to qualifications to the same language courses that do lead to qualifications.That, most people will agree, is a change in the type of courses, not a cut. After all, the same modern languages are still being taught, but now they lead to qualifications.Allegations that Devon County Council is cutting courses to save money then are totally wrong. Adult education for many people is very important, providing an opportunity to further their knowledge and enrich their lives. We want that to continue, and will continue ourselves to call for fairer funding to enable us to provide a fuller range of non-qualification led courses that meet local people's needs.COUNCILLOR HUGO BARTONDevon County Council

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