Community views on local accountability of learning and skills Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - 10:44
Local accountability and the governance of learning and skills is a critical element of the current change agenda. A new publication from NIACE and the Local Government Association highlights community views on local accountability for learning and skills.
Local accountability for adult learning and skills: a community perspective forms part of NIACE's work with councils and their partners to identify and share what's working well locally.
The publication focuses on the experiences of local community organisations working with Kirklees Council, which commissions its community learning provision locally as part of a long term strategy of capacity-building in the local community. The research identifies a number of key principles for a focus on community led provision:
- Realise the potential of the voluntary and community sectors.
- Develop a new accountability with learners.
- Make learning for localism a reality.
- Raise the profile of community-based adult learning.
- Focus on marketing and promotion for all local adult learning provision.
- Address the funding and sustainability challenge for local services.
John Edwards, Assistant Director Learning, Kirklees Council, said:
"Adult learning links the agendas of place and wellbeing. It has an impact on individuals, families and the local capacity to build strong and sustainable communities. It makes a contribution to the local economy, as well as to health and wellbeing."
Penny Lamb, NIACE's Head of Policy Development, said:
"Our research shows what can be achieved in a Council with the aim to decentralise influence and power to the lowest level and a clear view to do things differently in local areas. Kirklees Council put its head above the parapet and let us reflect with local communities about local accountability for learning and skills. The council's partnership with providers and community organisations shows it's not a quick fix. We found that things happen quietly, often below the radar, but there is a clear message - it's a way of thinking and a way of operating and a method of governance that turns the traditional power base on its head."