Learning and Skills Council proposals to stop funding the health and care elements of education for people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities are criticised in a report today.
In Through Inclusion to Excellence published in November 2005, the LSC said “millions of pounds” could be freed up to fund learning if other agencies contributed more towards the health and care elements of education packages.
But in the report today respondents to a consultation on the document said that if the LSC stopped funding health and care costs, it could affect the budgets of local authorities and primary care trusts.
They said additional funding for councils and PCTs would need to be ring-fenced to protect provision for people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.
The LSC said the Department for Education and Skills had started talks with other government departments on this issue.
It added: “It is anticipated that these discussions may yield an agreement regarding appropriate funding responsibilities and partnership funding.”
Many of the LSC’s other ideas did, however, win the support of respondents.
These included proposals for the government to consider legislating on appropriate transport for people aged over 19 with learning difficulties and/or disabilities to access education.
It also emerged this week that courses for adults with learning difficulties in England are being cut because of government training priorities.
The Association of Colleges said the government’s emphasis on courses that lead to level 2 qualifications had been reflected in funding from the LSC.
As a result, colleges have dropped some courses for adults with learning difficulties that do not meet this requirement.