by Mike Cooper
24+ Advanced Learning (‘FE’) Loans have been around for several years; they approach their third annual start. Last summer, BIS proposed (amongst other things) to expand their scope ‘downwards’, in age and levels.
After long silence, the government response has come. Several proposals were resolved (e.g. removing the cap on the numbers of concurrent Loans, and transferring Higher Nationals to BIS/SFA funding and thus bringing those into scope – the first got a ‘yes’, and the second got a ‘no’), but the ‘downwards expansion’ decision is delayed until the autumn’s planned Comprehensive Spending Review, to align with a major review of Adult Education.
Not long before the response was published, a Campaign for Learning seminar explored the proposals; some wider mysteries were considered, too. In fact, those matters may well be rather bigger, wider and more significant.