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Funding tragedy for the learning community

James Paice ("Paice predicts adult boom", TES, April 18) asserts that future massive growth in adult education will come from individuals and employers investing in learning.

Our experience is that, over the past three years, the process of widening participation is fuelled by having reasonable fees for people in work and full fee remission for those without work or in low-paid employment.

The number of adult learners in our community college has more than doubled to 2,000 each year since the super DLE (demand-led element) system was introduced by the Further Education Funding Council. This has now been axed, and without this proper funding next year I can foresee our adult student numbers returning to their previous static level.

This will be a tragedy for adult learners and our community.

PETER SANDERS

Deputy principal Portslade Community College Portslade Brighton East Sussex

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