Many people could be forgiven for thinking that education only affects children and young people aged 0-21, but there are a variety of schemes and opportunities that adult learners currently utilise that could be impacted. As well as potential new opportunities that could become present depending on the winning party.
When is the next general election?
The UK’s general elections take place when all 650 MPs are elected to the House of Commons. Each general election can be held no more than five years apart from the time the current parliament first came together.
With the last parliament formation taking place on the 17th of December 2019, the next election can be held no later than January 2025.
Who are the election candidates?
There are a number of parties that will be running during the general election.
The conservative party, led by Rishi Sunak will be looking to retain their majority within the House of Commons. However, they will be largely challenged by the Labour Party, led by Sir Keir Starmer. If opinion polls are anything to go by, it is suspected that Labour are the most popular party ahead of any potential vote.
Other parties that will be looking to gain crucial seats with the House of Commons include the Liberal Democrats, led by Ed Davey, and the Green Party led by Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay.
There are also a number of national-based parties looking to gain in popularity, these include.
• The Scottish National Party, led by Humza Yousaf
• Plaid Cymru, led by Adam Price
• Democratic Unionist Party, led by Jeffrey Donaldson
How could the election results affect the education industry?
One of the biggest emphases on the plan for education by both the Conservative and Labour Party has been on Maths.
Rishi Sunak has pledged to make maths mandatory for all students until the age of 18. Sir Keir Starmer, on the other hand, wants to replace this with an improved focus on teaching maths to young children and including “real world” numeracy lessons for pupils in England.
Labours system would introduce a new “phonics for maths” system within early years and primary school classes. This would look to involve practical examples in the curriculum such as budgeting, cooking recipes and sports league tables to underpin the skills they would learn.
Ahead of their plan to make maths mandatory at the post-16 level, the conservatives have begun looking at a new maths qualification for the ages of 16-18 and have implemented an advisory group to help with feedback on the education that’s needed.
If you’re an adult who missed out on your Maths qualifications, there is still support available, the Adult Education Budget offers a number of maths qualifications and training programmes to help you learn at no additional cost. This includes a Functional Skills Maths Level 2 course, which uses practical examples to help you learn the skills needed.
The Impact On Adult Learners
Currently, post-19 learning is funded through the Adult Education Budget (AEB). The AEB is a fund that has been set up by the UK government and the Department For Education. It is used to support the delivery of education and training of adults aged over 19 years old.
The aim of the funding is to provide adults with learning opportunities that allow them to gain new skills and knowledge that could help them gain employment, progress in work or further their education.
The AEB is shared across England and is split between combined authorities and national funding. AEB funding is available through local authorities, colleges and independent training providers who enable learners in England to access the qualifications.
What could a Labour government do with the Adult Education Budget?
Labour has aimed to continue investing in post-16 and adult education. Part of this investment could mean additional funding into qualifications or programmes that help companies transition to net zero. Additionally, they want to ensure things such as benefits are not an obstacle for adults if they are looking to retrain.
They would also look to continue and improve upon the free access to level 3 qualifications that are currently on offer, including the right to retrain in new skills.
Currently, we offer a range of level 2 and level 3 qualifications through the Adult Education Budget which can be viewed on our course page.
What could a Conservative government do with the Adult Education Budget?
Currently, the conservatives have made £1.5 billion available to the Adult Education Budget (AEB) and a further £900 million has been pledged by 2024/2025. While an increase in budget is good, this still represents an almost 25% drop in Adult Education funding compared to 2010.
This funding is currently split into two funding streams, the first being the ‘education and training’ funding line, which provides accredited qualifications. This usually includes courses such as English, Maths, and Digital Skills qualifications.
The second funding stream is placed towards ‘community learning’. This covers both accredited and non-accredited courses both for free and with fees depending on where the learning is taking place and who is learning.
There are some worries, however, that more fees could start to be associated with these courses if changes are not made and decreases in adult learners persist.
Luckily, we have a range of free online qualifications that help to ensure as many learners as possible do not miss out on the opportunity.
To learn more about our fully funded courses, head to our course page.