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Farron launches inquiry into adult education cuts

December 8, 2006 1:59 PM

Local MP Tim Farron has begun a consultation with the adult education centres in Westmorland and Lonsdale, with the aim of finding out how funding cuts made by the Learning and Skills Council have affected them. It has now been a year since the introduction of changes in LSC funding that led to a reduction in support for many adult education courses.

Tim's inquiry is particularly focused on five main points: How the changes in LSC funding affected the fees charged to students on adult education courses; whether any courses have been cancelled as a result of these changes; whether full and part-time teacher numbers have had to be reduced; whether the changes in funding have affected student recruitment; whether these changes have affected the kinds of courses offered.

Tim Farron said:

"We have already had a good response at this early stage, and this feedback clearly shows that as a result of funding reductions class sizes have increased, small classes have been cancelled altogether, and in one case student numbers have fallen by 33% this year! As a result some excellent tutors have lost their jobs.

"Another appalling consequence for Westmorland and Lonsdale is that some village hall venues have been cancelled to reduce running costs, which means that local, rurally isolated groups have suffered as a direct consequence. I look forward to hearing from all the adult education centres in the area, and with the information we receive I hope we can mount an effective campaign to improve local education facilities".