The only negative reaction to the Executive's announcement came from the Association of Scottish Colleges, angry that most of the additional cash earmarked by the Executive - pound;18.5million - is to be channelled through local authorities, which provide for 6,500 of the 15,000 adults on literacy and numeracy programmes at present. The sums over the three years range from pound;3.7m for Glasgow to pound;142,000 for Orkney.
This reverses the previously-announced policy that most of the money - pound;16.5m - would be allocated through FE colleges, which run courses for 6,000 adult learners. The literacy team's report suggests the local authorities could reach a wider range of people and involve more partners, including the FE colleges, through local community learning strategies.
Tom Kelly, the ASC's chief officer, said it was a setback for the colleges who had already begun to lay their plans on the basis of what they were told last year. He believes the colleges have long and relevant experience of dealing with diverse groups such as those with literacy and numeracy problems. Local authorities will now have to engage with partner organisations to work out how to deliver the programme. "This is a recipe for bureaucracy and delay," Mr Kelly added.