Transfer of adults' learning in Lancashire

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Lancashire County Council has approved plans for Nelson and Colne College to permanently take on responsibility for running Lancashire Adult Learning College (LAL).

Proposals agreed at today's Cabinet meeting, which will come into effect on 1 August this year, will see LAL continue to offer a range of adult and community learning courses across the county.

The decision follows a rapid turnaround of LAL's performance as a result of a partnership between the county council and Nelson and Colne College, with its Ofsted rating improving from 'inadequate' to 'good' in little over a year. Ofsted highlighted that further improvements would be made by making the current senior leadership arrangements for LAL permanent.

The Skills Funding Agency, who provide grant funding for LAL, have agreed to this proposal.

County Councillor Tony Martin, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for adult and community services, said: "We feel that Nelson and Colne College assuming responsibility for LAL is the best option for its continued improvement and success.

"Nelson and Colne College has a strong track record and their role in working with the county council and the LAL Governing Body to improve the service offered by LAL, since a disappointing Ofsted performance in 2014, has been truly impressive.

"LAL will continue to provide adult and community learning across Lancashire with its own distinct brand and offer a unique type of support to people who take on learning later in life.

"Adult and community learning plays a vital role, often supporting people back into work or to make a career change, with a tremendous reach in terms of where you can access courses and the variety of topics covered.

"We've got the very best interests of staff and learners at heart, and feel very strongly that this is the best move to support adult and community learning in Lancashire.

"Lancashire Adult Learning will retain its unique offer supported by funding from the Learning and Skills Council, to ensure the delivery throughout all Lancashire will continue.

"The help and support given to LAL by Nelson and Colne College in this difficult time has been fantastic and proved to me this partnership is the best way forward as the county council downsizes in the next few years. I look forward to our partnership growing and thriving in the future"

LAL provides courses for adults throughout Lancashire. A wide range of courses are offered, including those designed to help people improve basic skills for life and work, such as maths, English and computer skills.

LAL also caters for adults who are job seeking and brushing up on their skills, adults who have a learning disability, and those who want a supported return to learning.

Education and training is currently provided for 22,000 adult learners on learning programmes, delivered in over 120 community based venues throughout the county.

Amanda Melton is the Principal of Nelson and Colne College and has been in the same role at LAL since December 2014. She said: “I'm delighted that the county council has agreed to Nelson and Colne College taking on responsibility for adult and community learning on a permanent basis.

"LAL will continue to operate with its own unique identity, supporting and delivering fantastic learning opportunities throughout Lancashire.

"We've already formed a successful partnership with LAL, thanks to the efforts of staff in both colleges and this decision will allow us to further improve the range of learning opportunities offered across the county."

The county council will continue to be involved through the appointment of up to two people on the governing body of Nelson and Colne College. These representatives will have oversight of developments and a responsibility for scrutiny.

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Tagged as: Adult Learning

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