ADULT education was run at a £200,000 operational deficit during the last school year, Education has revealed, as it defended the need to raise course prices to cover costs.
Fees for a number of courses could rise by up to three times their current amount in a bid to operate the College of FE’s adult learning without incurring a loss.
However, a spokesperson for the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture said the price increase could be phased to limit further negative impact on enrolment numbers.
In 2016/17 there were 862 enrolments on Adult Community Learning courses – a quarter less than the 1,129 enrolments in 2015/16.
‘It is regrettable that prices for courses have entered the news media before being approved by the committee,’ the spokesman said. ‘It is indeed the case that the committee is struggling to deliver the challenging cost savings required of it in the States’ budget. It is also the case that the committee generally considers that, in this financial environment, adult education course prices should recover costs. However, members will be considering all these matters in the round before the adult education course prices for 2017/18 are finalised and published at the end of August.’
Adult Community Learning courses cost on average around £150 per hour to deliver, they said.