Metro mayors need to make sure that their requests of providers are "fair" ahead of the devolution of the adult education budget, the Department for Education has warned.
The DfE has issued guidance for combined mayoral authorities that, from next year, will have responsibility for commissioning adult education.
The government has said providers are “key to the delivery of the adult education system” and therefore when commissioning provision, mayors should consider “the fairness, reasonableness and proportionality of their requests of the providers through consideration of the entirety of that provider’s overall business”.
Equal opportunities for providers
The areas where the adult education budget will be devolved are: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City, London, Sheffield City, Tees Valley, West Midlands and the West of England.
The guidance also says:
- Mayors should ensure that all providers are given an equal opportunity to compete for funds in any competitive process;
- Mayors should consider how their approach aligns with the existing adult education funding key milestones;
- If they decide to deviate from the existing Education and Skills Funding Agency commissioning process, they should give a reasonable notice period to allow providers to adapt.