Greater London

The Greater London Authority (GLA) is the regional government for Greater London. GLA consists of a Mayor of London and an elected London Assembly which has scrutiny powers. GLA was established in 2000 and derives most of its powers from the Greater London Authority Act 1999 and the Greater London Authority Act 2007. GLA has powers over transport,  policing, economic development, fire and emergency planning. GLA shares some powers with the 32 London Boroughs and City Corporation.  GLA's total annual revenue budget is £12 billion and its total annual capital budget is £4 billion. In relative terms, the adult education budget that GLA will manage from 2019-20 is relatively small even though it will be the largest share of the national AEB of the 7 devolved budgets at around £300 million a year. GLA covers an area of 610 square miles and a population of 8.5 million.

The rest of this page summarises key policies and plans:

GLA AEB/ESF tender for contract-funded provision (October 2018)

The GLA will be issuing a tender shortly for a range of skills and employment programmes for adults and young Londoners who are furthest from the labour market and those who face in-work poverty. The tender will use funding made available by the delegation of London's Adult Educauton Budget (AEB) to the Mayor, providing match-funding for the GLA's European Social Fund 2019-23 programme. 

GLA does not plan to tender for AEB funds currently paid to grant-funded providers, though it may apply a £100,000 minimum contract value for providers outside London.

The projects in GLA's tender are intended to address the priorities identified within the London Economic Action Partnership’s (LEAP’s) ESIF Strategy, the Mayor’s Skills for Londoners Strategy and other statutory Mayoral strategies.

GLA has issued a Prior Information Notice (PIN) on its tender which can be accessed online. The PIN sets out more information about the tendering process for providers interested in bidding for these contracts. Queries and expressions of interest can be sent to

Skills for Londoner's Framework (July 2018)

The GLA published a draft Skills for Londoners Framework on 17 July 2018 and they are inviting views for the month to 17 August 2018. The framwork sets out the Mayor’s priorities for AEB reform and explains key processes.

There are 8 priorities for AEB reform in London over the next few years:

  • Eligibility for full-funding for people in low-paid work (a proposal to maintain ESFA's new low income fee remission policy but to increase the pay threshold in 2019-20 from £15,736 to £19,890)
  • English and maths skills (a proposal for an enhanced support package in 2020-21 based on recommendations of research whihch will be commissioned).
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (proposals for research and some ESOL plus pilots, possibly funded from European Social Fund grants)
  • Basic digital skills (a commitment to make good use of the digital skills entitlement which comes into operation in 2020 and which GLA estimate will account for £20-30 million in funding in London)
  • Adult and Community Learning (plans to define priority groups and to come up with new social metrics for ACL)
  • Support for disadvantaged learners (research to explore a new method to define disadvantage and allocat funds)
  • Support for learners with special education needs and disabilities (a review of 16-25 SEND plus a promise to fully fund British Sign Language courses up to Level 2)
  • Addressing London's key sectoral and occupational skills needs (work to find ways to link funding to occupationally-important outcomes)

On processes, the framework document includes some important information:

  • GLA's indicative AEB budget for 2019-20 is £311 million
  • 89% of the indicative budget (£277 million) is currently committed to grant funded providers (including colleges) and will not be competively tendered
  • 11% of the budget (£34 million) will be tendered and will be used to match £71 million in additional ESF provision
  • GLA plans to apply a £100,000 minimum threshold for its AEB grants in 2019-20
  • GLA is asking DfE if it can take on responsibility for out-of-area learners by London-based grant funded providers
  • GLA will allocate a Provider Manager to each provider
  • GLA aims to publish draft funding and performance management rules by December 2018 and circulate final allocations in March 2019
  • GLA plans to limit sub-contracting charges to a maximum of 20% but with the possibility of higher fees if a case is made
  • a number of outcomes will be used to measure activity. Work will start on payments-by-results models but GLA will not rush into this

A presentation summarising the plans from a briefing session held on 16 July 2018 is available here

Skills for Londoners strategy (May 2018)

The Greater London Authority published a Skills for Londoners strategy in May 2018 which is available here. GLA describe this as the "first dedicated post-16 skills and adult education strategy produced by a London Mayor".

The Strategy priorities go much wider than adult education and are to:

empower all Londoners to access the education and skills to participate in society and progress in education and work

meet the needs of London’s economy and employers, now and in the future

deliver a strategic city-wide technical skills and adult education offer.

The priorities provide the strategic context for the Skills for Londoners Framework, which further outlines:

the Mayor’s funding priorities

desired outcomes and delivery approach for the devolved Adult Education Budget

European Social Fund

Skills for Londoners Capital Fund

other City Hall programmes.

A set of indicators has been identified for the Mayor’s Skills for Londoners Strategy (to 2028), as well as top-level indicators that will contribute to the objectives set out in the Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy (EDS) (to 2041).

The strategy sets out the Mayor’s immediate ambitions and priorities for skills and education over the coming years, but, in the longer term, working with the London boroughs, the Mayor aspires to create a single, integrated skills and adult education offer for London to deliver a more strategic, whole-system approach to post-16 skills.

The Mayor of London has published a Mayoral Decision setting out his intention to accept this proposal, subject to meeting a series of principles set out in the devolution arrangement and final devolution agreement being confirmed by the Secretary of State for Education. This proposal means that for the first time, London will have the opportunity to tailor the skills and adult education system to better address local priorities.

AoC in London

AoC works closely with the GLA and other London organisations. Contact information for AoC's London office are here