Birmingham provider drops adult education budget high court fight

The first ever court battle to challenge a failed adult education budget application has been dropped.

East Birmingham Community Forum (EBCF) has withdrawn its case against the West Midlands Combined Authority following “discussions with our legal counsel”.

The training provider previously claimed it was wrongly denied a fair run at securing a slice of £28 million of funding put out by the authority, which took control of the AEB for the region last year.

Lawyers were set to go to battle at the high court in January, but this was then pushed back to November 20.

EBCF told FE Week this week that it decided to drop the case altogether over the summer as it could not afford the legal costs of seeing the challenge the whole way through. A spokesperson confirmed that there was no out-of-court settlement.

The West Midlands Combined Authority declined to comment.

In documents seen by FE Week ahead of the original January 31 court date, the independent learning provider had alleged the authority’s AEB procurement was “flawed” and that WMCA admitted in writing that it had made scoring errors.

The forum also claimed the WMCA did not abide by legislative procurement rules.

If the EBCF challenge had been successful, two parts of the area’s AEB provision bid could have had to have been retendered.