Inquiry planned to examine why ILAs failed

The
Government has announced plans for an inquiry into the failure of the
Individual Learning Accounts scheme.

It
will look at the reasons behind the failure of the ILA scheme to ensure its
mistakes aren’t repeated in the DfES’s lifelong learning strategy in England.

At
the same time, it will draw any positives that arise from the failed scheme and
use these within future plans.

This
will mean paying particular reference to management, policy and plans for
replacing the ILA scheme.

Barry
Sheerman MP, Chair of the Committee, said: "Our priority is to get the
show back on the road. The old ILA scheme obviously got out of hand. It is not
our job to pursue any criminal investigations there may be, but to concentrate
on rescuing the best aspects of this innovative approach to funding lifelong
learning."

The
ILA programme was suspended by Education and Skills Secretary, Estelle Morris
on 7 December 2001, amid concerns that some learning providers were abusing the
scheme. A number of companies are under investigation for possible fraud.   

By Ben Willmott

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