Changes to the way funding is allocated for Adult Education courses have been announced, relating to individuals on a low wage who cannot contribute to their own training in core English, maths and IT subjects.

This applies to people starting adult education courses from 1 August 2018 and will initially run as a trial for an academic year.

Currently, full funding is provided to learners who are unemployed, are aged 19-23 with skills below level 2, and to people aged 19 and over without English and maths up to level 2. 50% funding is provided to people who do not meet these criteria, for Adult Education Budget courses, to improve basic English, maths and IT skills. This is known as co-funding.

Learners who would normally be co-funded will be fully funded as part of the trial, under new low wage eligibility criteria, extending the scheme to:

  • those that are eligible for co-funding, and,
  • earn less than £15,736.50 annual gross salary, based on the Social Mobility Commission’s low pay threshold of £8.07 (hourly rate in 2016) and on the assumption of a 37.5 hour contract with paid statutory holiday entitlement.

The scheme is being introduced in an effort to remove barriers to participation.

For the full press statement on the funding changes, see the Gov.uk website.