Just read the HOLEX extract from in the BIS New Challenges New Chances Reform Plan published today: http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/further-education-skills/docs/f/11-1380-further-education-skills-system-reform-plan.pdf
Here's the bits on Informal Adult & Community Learning:
BIS funding will continue to support a universal a community learning offer, with a wide range of learning opportunities available to all adults in England.
The consultation endorsed a new, clearer commitment to using the public funding subsidy to support access, and progression in its widest sense, for people who are disadvantaged and who are furthest from learning and therefore least likely to participate. In the 2012/13 academic year we will pilot different locally-based ‘community learning trust’ models to channel Adult Safeguarded Learning funding and lead the planning of local provision in cities, towns and rural settings. If this proves to be an effective model we will roll out community learning trusts across England to begin full operation from summer 2013. The new trusts will take account of the views of local government, local communities and local business leaders to ensure the purpose and objectives for the budget are implemented in ways that meet local need. A prospectus will be launched in the spring 2012.
Purpose of Government Supported Community Learning:
· Maximise access to community learning for adults, bringing new opportunities and improving lives, whatever people’s circumstances.
· Promote social renewal by bringing local communities together to experience the joy of learning and the pride that comes with achievement.
· Maximise the impact of community learning on the social and economic well-being of individuals, families and communities.
- Focus public funding on people who are disadvantaged and least likely to participate, including in rural areas and people on low incomes with low skills
- Collect fee income from people who can afford to pay and use where possible to extend provision to those who cannot.
- Widen participation and transform people’s destinies by supporting progression relevant to personal circumstances, e.g.
- improved confidence and willingness to engage in learning - acquisition of skills preparing people for training, employment or self-employment
- improved digital, financial literacy and/or communication skills
- parents/carers better equipped to support and encourage their children’s learning
- improved/maintained health and/or social well-being.
- Develop stronger communities, with more self-sufficient, connected and pro-active citizens, leading to:
- increased volunteering, civic engagement and social integration
- reduced costs on welfare, health and anti-social behaviour
- increased online learning and self organised learning
- the lives of our most troubled families being turned around
- Commission, deliver and support learning in ways that contribute directly to these objectives, including:
- bringing together people from backgrounds, cultures and income groups, including people who can/cannot afford to pay
- using effective local partnerships to bring together key providers and relevant local agencies and services
- devolving planning and accountability to neighbourhood/parish level, with local people involved in decisions about the learning offer
- involving volunteers and Voluntary and Community Sector groups, shifting long term, ‘blocked’ classes into learning clubs, growing self-organised learning groups, and encouraging employers to support informal learning in the workplace
- supporting the wide use of online information and learning resources
- minimising overheads, bureaucracy & administration