Filed under: meetings | Tags: DIUS, education, England, funding, politics, volarts
I was in London on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Community Learning Stakeholder Reference Group at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. When the Government published ‘New Challenges New Chances: Further Education and Skills System Reform Plan: Building a World Class Skills System’ in December 2011 it made it clear that its funding for Community Learning in England will be focussed on the most disadvantaged people, that local communities would be involved in defining need in relation to Community Learning and that the effect of public investment in Community Learning must be maximised by attracting additional income from other sources. ‘New Challenges New Chances’ also proposed establishing new Community Learning Trusts. 15 pilot Community Learning Trusts have been in operation since August 2012. These Community Learning Trusts have been tasked with: creating local infrastructure with real identity; testing new partnership and collaborative models; growing and diversifying provision, participation and providers; generating additional resources for Community Learning; developing approaches to community consultation; and developing approaches to widening the provider base. The Community Learning Stakeholder Reference Group will meet throughout 2013 to assess the progress of the pilot Community Learning Trusts. At Tuesday’s meeting I was pleased to see the continuing emphasis on the importance of self-organised learning groups and the need to support such groups – including local voluntary arts organisations.
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