News story

Preparing for adult funding devolution

Working with providers and Mayoral Combined Authorities ahead of the devolution of the Adult Education Budget in 2019.

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Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCAs) and the Greater London Authority (GLA) will take on more responsibility to deliver quality adult education in their local areas from 2019 to 2020 when adult funding is devolved, subject to agreed readiness conditions.

A transitional year for MCAs will be created for the 2018 to 2019 academic year to give authorities time to learn the skills for success, strengthen their relationships with providers and test out mechanisms before Adult Education Budget (AEB) devolution comes fully into force.

There will be a significant step towards devolution, in the transitional year, giving MCAs (covering Greater Manchester, West Midlands, Tees Valley, West of England, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and Liverpool City Region) a greater role in shaping local area provision, to ensure a smooth transition and the continued protection of learners.

During the transitional year, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will continue to manage the AEB budget nationally, and will be responsible for calculating AEB allocations and notifying all providers.

The Department for Education is supporting authorities as they build sustainable relationships with providers and will continue to work with them to align national and local policy on adult education.

These changes were outlined in the Adult Education Budget Changing Context and Arrangements for 2016 to 2017 and the Industrial Strategy. This means that once the MCAs are in receipt of the AEB, ESFA will be responsible for only around half the current AEB it currently manages, giving greater powers to local areas.

More information on devolution (which excludes the delivery of apprenticeship provision and that associated with employer delivery, adult traineeship provision or provision for those in adult detention), will be published early next year.

Published 7 December 2017