24 Plus Learning Loans - Planning and Implementing

There are no open events scheduled for this topic. It may be run as an open event again in the future. Alternatively, we can run it as a bespoke internal event for your organisation.

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The introduction of Adult Learning Loans brings an exciting opportunity to the world of Further Education and better aligns the perceived ‘poor relation’ with the world of Higher Education.

This new and interesting opportunity brings with it challenges for administration that may well be met with negativity - that it is all too much effort for little return. There could be tensions between competing provision within the local area and possibly within the organisation itself with the same cohort of learners, funded differently, appear to be in competition - robbing Peter to pay Paul. In reality, the intention of this new initiative is to recognise the opportunity to extend learner cohorts and attract those adults who were likely to have been outside the ‘helping hand’ catchment area of previous and existing initiatives. 

Adult Learning Loans help learners aged 24 and over, studying at Level 3 and Level 4 or Advanced or Higher Apprenticeships, to pay the fees charged by approved colleges and training organisations in England. Learners can apply now for courses, household income is not taken into account and there's no credit check. Learners won't have to pay anything back until their income is over £21,000 a year. Probably most welcome of all is that this is an offer for adults whereas many initiatives appear to benefit schools or discrete categories at the exclusion of the wider population.

This initiative intends to bring some parity of esteem across the sector in preparation for Further Education becoming a more seamless, lifelong learning bridge across school education and higher education. Rather than have numerous types of grants, bursaries etc and copious amount of overly bureaucratic systems that accompany them, the principles behind the Adult Learning Loans aim to break down barriers and enable timely, simple access for those who wish to apply for a Loan and those who plan to administer them.

For Whom

This event is for all categories of post-compulsory educational provision. You may have already have elected to offer these Loans and want reassurance you are on the right track or you may be about to dismiss them as too onerous and complicated.

It is likely that delegates will be managers and leaders, administrators, careers guidance and learner services staff, possibly finance staff, marketing and business development teams.

This event is not about the funding itself but about the systems, processes and strategies; how the expectations of implementing these Loans align with your current systems, whilst interpreting the expectations of Ofsted. However information will be provided about the rules for repaying Loans and signposting to further information and FAQs will also be given.

Aims and Objectives

By attending this workshop participants will be better placed to:

Content

This workshop is interactive and neither a conference nor didactic. Delegates will be involved in scrutinising Ofsted criteria and reports to really understand its philosophy and focus. A range of recent Ofsted reports are used to identify how other providers are performing in terms of quality systems generally and how some providers are still failing. All these analyses will be useful in helping you in assessing your current process and systems to plan for implementation and improvement.

Session one looks at what these Loans mean to you and your service. It aims to dispel any misconceived notions and challenge current constraints. The session further develops into exploring the likely target audience and challenges stereotypes. The outcomes from these interactive activities will be aligned to the expectations of the administration and promotion of the Loans. These outcomes will be used to relate the theory to your own practice and plan for further action.

Session two identifies the benefits of accessing the Loan to combat potential barriers that may arise. Opportunities to share current practice will be used to learn from others - who are likely to represent a variety of educational contexts and therefore challenge notions and widen knowledge and ideas. The Ofsted framework will be scrutinised to better understand what lies beneath the headline statements in order to anticipate expectations and plan for implementation.

This session continues to explore practices from other providers to provide a measurement for your own practices, systems and quality. This type of activity often enlightens delegates as a form of ‘benchmarking’ their own performance and provides quality time and debate usually not afforded in everyday activities.

Session three will take the knowledge gained from the morning sessions to self-assess your own provision in relation to the implementation of these Learning Loans. The outcomes will be discussed and explored by probing and penetrating the underlying expectations of Ofsted in relation to your everyday systems and processes. We will link to the likely target audience for the Loans and aim to anticipate how your services will meet their needs. We will use these outcomes and relate them to methods of promoting the benefits of the Loans to the ‘hard to reach’.

Delegates are requested to prepare by bringing with them existing examples of self-assessment development plans in order to correlate existing practice to actions identified through this workshop; these to be worked on further during the afternoon session. Delegates should bring along as a minimum, examples of promotional materials; a marketing plan would also be useful.

Session four will involve delegates identifying who they would like to form new teams with, to learn from each other and discuss strategies relating to the actions formed throughout the day. These teams and the themes will be self-selected. It is likely that one team will focus on marketing materials, media and plans, whilst another may well be about a simpler, quality system. Should individuals wish to work alone during this session in order to move their actions into a workable document, that option would also be welcomed. 

Personal Action Planning
Delegates will be encouraged throughout the day, to form an action plan to take back to their workplace which reflects any changes or improvement relating to their own context. Opportunities throughout this event, will relate intentions to practical strategies, enabling a clearer focus on improving both the observation process and the lesson grades.

Internal Staff Training and Development

This training workshop, along with most of our other best practice training workshops, can be delivered as an internal training course at your premises. Even with groups as small as 6-8 delegates, the course fees per person for internal training workshops can be lower than for open events. The potential savings are even greater, if the travel time and the travel costs of the delegates are included.

Running training workshops internally is very convenient and it allows the participants to explore how key issues will impact on them and their organization. Then as a team they can begin to agree upon a development action plan, with priorities. This approach is favoured by many of our clients as it combines a high quality service with excellent value for money and is a highly effective route for staff development.

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