Government gives adult skills training and GCSE teaching a £60m boost

March 20, 2008

The Government has committed an extra £60 million to adult skills training in its 2008 Budget.

It said the extra investment would "provide new opportunities for people to realise their talents, offer adults a second chance to retrain and test new ways of delivering training", as well as supporting more adult apprentices.

A strategy for "seamless" enterprise education from primary school to university level was highlighted, underpinned by £210 million in funding announced in last year's Comprehensive Spending Review.

In advance of a White Paper on science and innovation, which was also published last week (see above), the Chancellor announced a £10 million investment over five years in Project Enthuse, aimed at supporting the professional development of secondary school science teachers.

Another package, worth £200 million over three years, will help to raise attainment at GCSE level in poorly performing schools. The target is for every school to have at least 30 per cent of pupils attaining five A* to C grades at GCSE, including English and maths, by 2011.

Diana Warwick, chief executive of Universities UK, said: "The focus on improving workforce skills is a welcome element of this Budget. Universities will play a key role in delivering the higher level skills required by the UK economy. The commitment to science and innovation is also good news for universities."

Of the investment to raise GCSE results, she said better staying-on rates and higher standards and aspirations in schools would help widen participation in higher education.

john.gill@tsleducation.com.

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