Filed under: meetings | Tags: DIUS, education, England, funding, politics, volarts
On Thursday I was at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in London to take part in a meeting of the Informal Adult and Community Learning Stakeholder Reference Group. On 1 December the Government published ‘New Challenges, New Chances’ – a Further Education and Skills System Reform Plan. This plan includes a brief reference to community learning, promising that “BIS funding will continue to support a universal community learning offer, with a wide range of learning opportunities available to all adults in England”. Specifically it says “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”. A prospectus for these ‘community learning trusts’ is due to be launched in Spring 2012 and our meeting was the first opportunity for the Department to hear the views of a variety of stakeholders about how this new system might best work. I suggested that the ‘community learning trusts’ will need to involve self-organised learning groups such as voluntary arts organisations to help to link together the various aspects of informal adult and community learning, rather than just concentrating on learning providers that receive direct Government funding.
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