ADD2302 Research and consultancy - AEB

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
03 December 2018
Decision by: 
Michelle Cuomo-Boorer, Assistant Director of Skills and Employment

Executive summary

In the Skills for Londoners Strategy, the Mayor set out his plan to take a more strategic approach to commissioning the Adult Education Budget (AEB) following delegation of certain AEB functions to London in 2019/20. This will include ensuring that funding is targeted to better meet need through shifting the AEB to focus more closely on learner outcomes.

To support the development of an outcome-based commissioning model, City Hall will now procure external research and consultancy support to develop and test an initial set of outcomes measures.


That the Assistant Director of Skills & Employment approves:

Expenditure of up to £50,000 on research and consultancy to support the development an outcomes-based approach to investing the AEB across London.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

In the Skills for Londoners Strategy, the Mayor set his plan to take a more strategic approach to commissioning the AEB following the delegation of certain AEB functions and funding to London in 2019/20, ensuring that funding is targeted to better meet need.

This included a commitment to move incrementally, and over time, towards outcome-based commissioning. This will ensure that funding is focused on effective skills provision in London that supports adults to gain the relevant skills they need to enter in to and progress in employment, as well as wider social outcomes. Further detail on the options being considered to take this work forward was set out in the Skills for Londoners Framework

City Hall is now beginning work to develop an approach to outcome-based commissioning in London. We have established an Outcomes for Londoners Advisory Group as a subordinate body of the Skills for Londoners Board that comprises sector stakeholders and relevant experts to guide this work.

To support the development of the approach to outcome-based commissioning City Hall will now appoint, through a competitive procurement exercise, a suitably qualified organisation to provide research and consultancy support.

Although related to the AEB, the Mayor does not need to directly take this decision as this activity is funded by the GLA and does not directly relate to implementing the AEB into the GLA, or to allocations to providers.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The organisation appointed will develop an outcomes framework for London’s AEB. The outcomes contained within the framework must be robust, validated and tested; and not too onerous to collect. It is expected that for some outcome areas, particularly for social outcomes, new outcome measures may need to be developed, trialled and evaluated.

Indicative deliverables for this include:

• Delivery of a series of stakeholder consultation workshops to gather sector perspectives to inform design of the approach;
• Development of a list of potential outcome measures and metrics – including an interim report setting out findings and recommendations for consideration by the Outcomes for Londoners Advisory Group;
• Further development, design and verification of the selected outcome measures – which must include testing the measures with a small group of adult education providers; and
• Delivery of a final list of validated outcome measures, which will then to be piloted more widely across the provider base.

A maximum of £50,000 is available for this work.

Equality comments

This project will give due regard to diversity and inclusion with a focus on considering social as well as economic outcomes for Londoners. Social outcomes will be especially relevant to people who may be disadvantaged and therefore for whom employment is not a realistic or immediate outcome. This may include people with learning difficulties or disabilities, where English is not the first language, older people or people with very low skills. This outcomes work aims to ensure that the impact of learning is recognised for all Londoners who access provision funded by the delegated AEB.

Other considerations

This project takes forward one of the key priorities for reform set out in the Mayor’s Skills for Londoners Strategy.

The procurement will be critical to development of City Hall’s approach to transitioning the circa. £311m AEB to an outcome-based commissioning model. It allows us to draw upon expert technical advice and support that will reduce the risks associated with moving the AEB to an outcome based funding model.

Financial comments

The cost of up to £50,000 for this proposal will be funded from the Skills Strategy budget held within the Skills & Employment Unit for 2018-19.

Activity table



Development of specification for stage 1 research

Nov-Dec 18

Publish specification for stage 1 research

Jan 2019

Stage 1 research delivery start date

Mar 2019

Interim report to Outcomes Advisory Group

May 2019

Presentation to SfL Board

Jun/Jul 2019

Testing of developed measures with sub-set of AEB providers

July – December 2019

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