Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

How to Survive and Thrive in the Devolution Revolution

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

How to Survive and Thrive in the Devolution Revolution

Article excerpt

The devolution agenda marches on. So far, 11 areas are covered by a skills deal; by 2018, funding will have been transferred to nine of them.

Within two years, approximately half the available adult education budget for England will be delivered through a different funding system. This may sound a long way off but, from experience, this timescale appears very tight given the substantial changes envisaged.

For an adult education system to work properly, providers need to be able to manage the process, and those funding them need to ensure that providers have the tools and information to do so.

Providers cannot stand back from the design of these funding and planning processes. They should be proactively working with the new devolved authorities to construct new ways of working. Here are my nine top tips on how to survive and thrive.

1. Getting started - be proactive

Do your own research. Don't wait to be approached. Use existing links to build a strong adult and community learning (ACL) localism partnership across the combined authority (CA) area. Establish where "ownership" of the localism agenda resides, and draw attention to your work and its benefits for productivity and wellbeing.

2. Influence the vision setting

Articulate a clear vision for your community learning service and the impact it has in relation to skills and employability, then work together to draft a CA vision. Explain how you support social integration, community cohesion, health, the unemployed. Promote the ACL sector's track record and have confidence in what community learning delivers.

3. Participate in governance processes

Make sure you know what structures are in place and find a way to ensure the ACL sector has a voice at the table.

4. Know what the community wants

Remain grounded in the needs of the community, residents and learners. Make sure you understand the local enterprise partnership's skills plan - and that it matches your provision. …

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