Too many services spoil learning;Letter;Further Education

10th December 1999 at 00:00
YOUR article "MPs call for post-16 learning for all" (TES, November 12) drew some interesting conclusions from the House of Commons select committee's report Access For All. Regrettably, they were not necessarily the conclusions of the committee.

The committee points to a competitive post-16 provider environment and a plethora of separate information and guidance services as root causes for ineffective progression in learning, a theme picked up in Bridging the Gap.

The proposed youth support service offers some welcome coherence for disaffected 13 to 19-year-olds but, as Tony Watts has described, at the potential expense of creating a new all-risk group of ill-advised further education and higher education drop-outs.

Such a service will not, however, resolve the issue of

multiple agencies offering support for adults.

It is a pity that the article did not reach the conclusion of the report which stated that "genuinely lifelong learning, which we believe the careers service is best equipped to provide", will be perquisite of placing learning at the heart of broader public policy.

Hopefully, colleagues at the Department for Education and Employment will be more inclined to read the full report.

Karen O'Donoghue

Chief executive

Lancashire Area West Careers

Service Ltd

Centurion Way

Leyland

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