Teens are not to blame for cuts

10th February 2006 at 00:00
In "Is it so wrong to put teens before adults?" (FE Focus, January 27), Julian Gravatt mistakenly suggests that the Niace report Eight in Ten blames teenagers for cuts to adult courses.

The implication is that members of the inquiry resent the Government's commitment to increase participation and lift the quality of the curriculum for 16 to 19-year-olds.

That is entirely inaccurate: the inquiry strongly supports both of these aims, and nowhere in the report do we suggest that the Government should divert resources from younger learners to adults.

Our concern was to highlight the centrality of adult learning to the goal of a high-skills economy, and as a force for social cohesion and cultural value in troubled times.

The present approach and funding levels are not up to these vitally important tasks: our report describes the kind of policies that are needed.

It is misleading to suggest that these can only be achieved at the expense of younger learners.

Nadine Cartner Member of the Niace Committee of Inquiry into Adult Learning Leicester

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