On the agenda for this month’s Executive Board is the formation of a joint Wrexham and Flintshire Adult Community Learning Partnership from April 2021 to provide oversight and management of Adult Community Learning (ACL) across both local authority areas.
At the moment we have responsibility for providing oversight of ACL in Wrexham; for administering the ACL Grant and for ensuring that partners collaborate to deliver high quality provision for learners. ACL is regulated by Estyn and the partnership will be required to carry out self-evaluation on an annual basis alongside providing an annual service delivery plan to Welsh Government.
The Adult Learning Partnership must also attain, as a minimum, a judgement of at least ‘adequate’ in all key questions following an inspection by Estyn.
The funding priorities aligned to the Adult Learning Policy and are:
- Essential Communication Skills – including English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
- Essential Application of Number Skills
- Essential Digital Literacy Skills
- Essential Employability Skills
Across North Wales, there are two other partnerships that have been established for a number of years, namely Conwy & Denbighshire and Ynys Mon & Gwynedd. WCBC and Flintshire County Council (FCC) have operated separate partnerships due to the significant difference to its funding allocations from the Welsh Government (WG) Community Learning Grant (CLG), with WCBC‘s annual allocation for 19-20 being £96,219 whereas FCC received circa £2k. This was based on a historical formula used by Welsh Government which has now been rectified; therefore for 21/22 WCBC expects to receive £199,205 and FCC will receive a significant increase to £216,152.
The new funding formula now provides the opportunity to combine both partnerships, which are in the main made up of the same delivery partners, including Coleg Cambria and Addysg Oedolion Cymru/Adult Learning Wales. Welsh Government are supportive of the proposal to combine both Partnerships, as are both Wrexham and Flintshire ACL partnerships, as this will enable more effective strategic and operational decision-making whilst also maximising the CLG for each area.
Cllr Phil Wynn, Lead Member for Education, said: “This is an excellent opportunity to provide top quality Adult Community Learning across Flintshire and Wrexham and we welcome the opportunity to work together in the interests of our residents.
I look forward to presenting the report and hope members agree that it is a positive move forward and will maximise both on our experience and the opportunities and expertise that exist with Coleg Cambria across the two areas.”