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Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009

Provision of services and assistance
Section 107: Provision of services

296.This section re-enacts section 11 of the Further Education and Training Act 2007, but conferring functions on the Chief Executive of Skills Funding rather than the LSC. It provides the powers for the Chief Executive to provide services for individuals and to bodies exercising education and training functions in relation to those functions. It enables the Chief Executive to offer support services such as management information systems, software management systems, payroll administration, human resources functions, finance services and procurement services, including to people and to bodies outside England where that is appropriate, and required by the devolved administrations. Such services may include the provision of accommodation or facilities where that is appropriate to the delivery or provision of the service.

297.The Chief Executive may provide these services to: publicly-funded education and training providers (including schools and universities); publicly-funded institutions that have functions relating to the provision of education and training; and persons or bodies specified by order (who may or may not be publicly funded but have functions relating to education or training).

298.Subsection (3) provides that the terms and conditions of such arrangements may include provision for making payments to the Chief Executive in respect of costs incurred in performing any function under the arrangements. This might be used where the delivery of services requires the Chief Executive to incur costs that might not normally be incurred in the delivery of services in England alone. This might include costs associated with adapting systems, providing “additional” services, or simply providing the service to devolved administrations.

299.Subsection (4) defines “permitted recipients”, which are those persons with whom the Chief Executive may make arrangements under this section and subsection (8) defines “the appropriate national authority”.

300.The orders specifying additional persons or bodies as permitted recipients may be made by the Secretary of State or, where a person or body has education and training functions only in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, by the relevant devolved administration.

301.In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, these services will be supplied only with the consent of the respective devolved administrations. Separate consent will be required from each administration for each type of service.

302.The Chief Executive will need to obtain the consent of the Secretary of State before making arrangements to provide support services to a person or body operating in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

303.An example of such a support service is the Further Education Data Service which the Government intends that the Chief Executive will operate as a shared service across the Further Education and skills sector. This service will collect information from colleges and providers and produce and disseminate reports on performance of the further education sector to all those with a direct interest in the performance of particular colleges and providers, for example the colleges and providers themselves; local education authorities and the Young People’s Learning Agency.

304.Another example of such a support service is the Managing Information Across Partners (MIAP) Learner Registration and Learner Record Service through which the Chief Executive will provide services, when requested to do so, which support the sharing of data with the aim of benefiting individual learners. The Chief Executive will manage these services on behalf of participating partners. The Welsh Assembly and Northern Ireland Government have already asked the LSC to provide such services and this section will enable the Chief Executive to carry out the same functions.

Section 108: Assistance with respect to employment and training, Section 109: Assistance with respect to employment and training: Northern Ireland

305.Sections 108 and 109 give the Chief Executive the same powers as the LSC currently has under section 12 and 13 of the Further Education and Training Act 2007, to allow him or her to take part in arrangements in relation to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for assisting persons to select, train for, obtain and retain employment. Consent of the Welsh and Scottish administrations will be required for arrangements made by the Secretary of State in relation to Wales and Scotland. The consent of the Secretary of State will be required for arrangements made by all the devolved administrations which involve the Chief Executive. Arrangements may include a loans scheme for learners such as Career Development Loans (CDLs) or its successor Professional and Career Development Loans (under which commercial lenders provide loans to help pay for learning) which operate throughout Great Britain and are currently administered by the LSC on behalf of the devolved administrations.

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