Questions frequently asked about the Adult Education Budget (AEB) and its devolution from central government to the West of England Combined Authority.
2018/19 will be a transitional year in which WECA will:
- Work with providers to gain deeper knowledge of what they currently deliver.
- Build strong working relationships with providers and stakeholders through regular meetings and communications, to ensure a smooth transition to new ways of working.
- Test out processes and systems to enable funding to be delivered.
- Refine the Strategic Skills Plan outlining adult education priorities.
- Influence where central government allocates funds to existing providers.
Courses that start before August 1, 2019 will continue to be funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency.
For the 2019/20 academic year, the Government has allocated £14.7m of AEB to WECA.
WECA will fund the delivery of courses and provision in line with the AEB Strategic Skills Plan. It will continue to support eligible learners with statutory entitlements to study specified qualifications for free.
From the 2019/20 academic year, funding for AEB provision delivered to WECA residents (residents of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire) will come from the WECA rather than the Education and Skills Funding Agency. WECA will determine what courses are funded and who provides them.
No, the funding will be used for residents of WECA’s three constituent councils – Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
The devolved Adult Education Budget does not cover:
- Anything related to apprenticeships
- Anything related to adult offender learning
- Anything related to young people between 16-18
- Anything related to traineeships
- Anything related to Advance Learner Loans
- Anything related to loan bursary funds
Some courses may need change in line with the AEB Strategic Skills Plan and the priorities associated with it. Any change will be focused on increasing the responsiveness of the budget to the needs of our region’s residents and businesses.
Providers are encouraged to get in touch with WECA to develop a strong working relationship.
WECA will continue to fund free study for learners, who meet certain conditions, as a result of statutory entitlements.
The Department for Education, the Education and Skills Funding Agency and WECA are working together to maximise the effective sharing of data in full accordance with data protection legislation.