Section 87: Learning aims for persons aged 19 or over: provision of facilities
258.Sections 87, 88 and 89 re-enact provisions inserted into the Learning and Skills Act 2000 by section 86 of the Education and Skills Act 2008, but conferring functions on the Chief Executive rather than the LSC. Section 87 places a duty on the Chief Executive to secure the provision of proper facilities (in contrast to the reasonable facilities provided for in section 86) for education and training to enable adults who lack particular skills to obtain relevant qualifications. Subsection (4) of section 87 defines proper facilities as those which are of a sufficient quantity and adequate quality to meet the reasonable needs of individuals. This section effectively gives higher funding priority to those adults who lack certain particular skills to enable them to obtain relevant qualifications.
259.The broad standards of achievement (or “learning aims”) for this purpose are set out in Schedule 5. They are a specified qualification in literacy, a specified qualification in numeracy and a specified vocational qualification at level 2. The specification of the particular qualifications to which the duty applies will be in regulations.
260.The duty will apply only to a learner’s first qualification at the specified level. For example, the Chief Executive will not be under a duty to secure the provision of proper facilities for a learner with a level 2 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Beauty Therapy who then applies for a level 2 course in Hairdressing. However, the Secretary of State may by regulations made under section 87 provide that despite having a specified qualification, a person is to be treated as not having that qualification. This could apply, for example, where an individual had achieved a school leaving qualification in English or maths but was later identified, as a result of diagnostic assessment, as having skills below the basic levels of literacy or numeracy.
261.The qualifications will be those at relatively low levels of learning, which are designed to equip people with basic and intermediate skills for work and everyday living.
262.In performing the duty, the Chief Executive must take account of a number of factors, such as the education and training needs in different sectors of employment. The Chief Executive must also act with a view to encouraging diversity of education and training and to increasing opportunities for individuals to exercise choice; and must make the best use of resources.