Adults left out in the cold;Local authorities
DESPITE New Labour's commitment to lifelong learning, some local authorities have abandoned adult education.
Five urban authorities - Sheffield, Doncaster, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Wirral and Haringey in London - spent nothing on adult education in 199798, the Audit Commission found.
Elsewhere, spending ranged from almost pound;25 per head of adult population in the London boroughs of Sutton and Lambeth to just 3p in Darlington. Average spending in the capital was, at pound;10.29 per head, three times that in the rest of the country. Spending nationally fell 5 per cent on the previous year.
Take-up also varied widely. In Sutton, more than a quarter of all adults took a course, with nine out of ten completing it. But only four people in every 10,000 enrolled on a local authority course in Walsall in the West Midlands. Nationally, enrolments rose by 2 per cent.
The data include all adult education provided by local authorities, from basket-weaving and other recreational courses to vocational training and access courses such as computer studies or basic literacy.
Amanda Ariss, the commission's associate director of audit support, said:
"With the emphasis on lifelong learning it raises questions of whether people in some areas will be able to take part."
Inclusive society? 32-35