Minister Sets Out Next Steps for Reform
Arrangements to deliver funding support for learners beyond school is to be simplified as part of ongoing reforms to the education and skills sector.
Announcing the commitment in an update to Parliament in his role as Minister for Higher Education & Further Education, Graeme also set out the intention to streamline funding for colleges, universities and apprenticeships.
Currently, funding across the sector is provided by multiple organisations, including the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and Skills Development Scotland (SDS).
Graeme confirmed that the Scottish Government will take over skills planning at a national level. There will also be a review into Community Learning Development (CLD), running from December until June 2024, which will examine the extent to which CLD is delivering positive outcomes for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable learners and marginalised groups.
The Scottish Government published its Purpose and Principles for post-school education and skills in June, following the independent review of the Independent review of the Skills Delivery landscape by James Withers earlier that month.
The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has responsibility for delivering investment in university research and knowledge exchange, as well as provision of fundable further and higher education, including Foundation and Graduate. SFC also provides discretionary funding to colleges for students facing hardship.
The Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) provides students with funding for higher education, as well as tuition fee payments to both colleges and universities. This includes Graduate Apprenticeships and financial support for living costs paid directly to students in the form of loans, grants and bursaries.
Skills Development Scotland delivers national training programmes, including the frameworks for all apprenticeship programmes, the contracting and payment of the public contribution for Modern Apprenticeships (MA) and half of all Foundation Apprenticeship provision as well as paying support costs to training providers.