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Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009

Section 88: Learning aims for persons aged 19 or over: payment of tuition fees

263.This section places a duty on the Chief Executive to ensure that learners will not be liable to pay fees for courses of study provided as a result of section 87. There are two categories of learners that the Government intends will not generally have to pay fees for their courses:

  • Subsection (2) covers those that are at least 19 years of age and are following a course of study for their first specified qualification in literacy, numeracy, or a specified vocational qualification at level 2;

  • Subsection (4) covers those that are at least 19 but less than 25 who are following a course to get their first specified level 3 qualification (for example, two A-levels).

264.The intention is that these learners will not be liable to pay fees for these courses of study.

265.Fees include the course fees, but the Secretary of State may also specify in regulations, which will be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure, that other fees relating to the course; for example, examination fees and costs of diagnostic assessment, are included. Costs which are not fees (for example, the costs of buying books, equipment and materials) will not come within the scope of the duty.

266.Subsection (5) gives the Secretary of State the power to amend by order, which will be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure, the relevant provisions of this section so as to vary the ages at which learners qualify for financial help under this section. This provides the flexibility, for example, to be able to adapt to changing economic conditions.

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