The Chief Executive of Skills Funding
Section 72: Consultation by Chief Executive of Skills Funding
346.Section 72 inserts new section 118A into ASCLA 2009. The new section provides a power for the Secretary of State to direct the Chief Executive of Skills Funding to consult with specified people or descriptions of persons on matters associated with the performance of the Chief Executive’s functions. A direction issued under this section can also set out the way in which the consultation is to be carried out. For example, the direction could specify that the consultation must take place through the establishment of a formal advisory group consisting of specified individuals or representatives of specific named bodies. The new section does not prevent the Chief Executive from carrying out other forms of consultation, including with individuals and representative bodies who are not named in any direction.
Section 73: Functions of the Chief Executive of Skills Funding
347.Section 73(2) amends section 88 of ASCLA 2009 so that the entitlements to fee remission on the first full vocational qualification at level 2 and specified qualification at level 3 are restricted to those aged over 19 and under 24.
348.Section 88 places a duty on the Chief Executive of Skills Funding to ensure that students will not be liable to pay fees for courses of study provided as a result of section 87, which places a duty on the Chief Executive to secure the provision of proper facilities for education and training to enable adults who lack particular skills to obtain relevant qualifications. This section amends the section 88 duty on the Chief Executive to restrict it to the first full specified vocational qualification at level 2 and specified level 3 qualifications for those over the age of 19 and under 24.
349.The definitions of level 2 and level 3 qualifications are set out in Schedule 5 to ASCLA 2009:
level 2 is the level of attainment (in terms of breadth and depth) which, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, is demonstrated by the General Certificate of Secondary Education in five subjects, each at Grade C or above;
level 3 is the level of attainment (in terms of breadth and depth) which, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, is demonstrated by the General Certificate of Education at the advanced level in two subjects.
350.Subsection (3) repeals sections 112 to 114 of ASCLA 2009 and so removes the power of the Secretary of State to specify a body to set out a strategy for the delivery of education and training in a specified area in England and keep it under review; and the requirement for him to provide, by regulations, for the establishment of such a body in relation to Greater London. This repeal also removes the requirement for the Chief Executive of Skills Funding to carry out any function to which any such strategy relates, in accordance with that strategy.
351.Subordinate legislation made under these provisions currently provides for three such bodies – in London, Manchester and Birmingham. While the repeal of this legislation removes the statutory basis for these bodies, it does not prevent them from agreeing strategies and priorities with their local training organisations and colleges. Those relationships may proceed on the basis of a shared concern to meet the skills needs of the local economy rather than a requirement for one body to exert control over the others.