Post-16 revisions needed, says LGA

September 10, 1999

Key elements of the government's blueprint for post-16 education should be revised, says a senior local government representative.

Graham Lane, chairman of the Local Government Association's education committee, wants planning functions for post-16 education removed from the proposed new local learning and skills councils and passed to existing local learning partnerships.

Mr Lane warned that the proposed system, set out in the white paper Learning to Succeed, could become overly centralised. "The learning and skill councils are superfluous but the government is adamant about them. They will not have the detailed local knowledge to be able to plan education and training delivery at community level. You cannot respond to local needs by national diktat."

The white paper proposes a national learning and skills council to handle funding for the entire post-16 sector, including further education colleges but excluding school sixth forms and higher education institutions.

Below this there would be about 50 councils to assess local education and skills requirements. But they would have to operate within the national council's framework.

The white paper is out to consultation until October 15. Boy racer: Niki Smart, 26, with the '1 Up' three-wheeled racing car he created for his masters in vehicle design at the Royal College of Art. The concept car has already won him the 1999 Triplex Prize sponsored by Pilkington Automotive for the best student project and a design job at Ford.

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