Wider Access Programme 2016-2017: Guidance for Community Groups and Services
About the Wider Access Programme
Glasgow Kelvin College’s Wider Access programme is designed to support learning in areas characterised by multiple deprivation - for groups of people experiencing disadvantage which:
- makes access to main campus programmes difficult for them; and
- who need a partnership approach in which their individual learning needs are supported through review by the community group or service requesting the support.
The programme is one in which funding for tutor time is set aside to enable response to community need.
Wider Access Programmes are delivered in the community in response to demand from community partners.
The College does not advertise this provision: it’s designed for community groups and services working in partnership with the College to identify the learning support needs of local residents they already work with.
Eligibility for Wider Access support
Applications for support from the Wider Access programme may be made by community groups and services which are:
- not for profit organisations;
- within the Glasgow region; and which support excluded groups of people:
- who would not normally be unable to access mainstream learning opportunities (e.g.
- people who are unemployed, experiencing in-work poverty, in recovery, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged);
- who constitute a viable group (normally about 12 or more) which uses public spending well; and
- who are willing to progress, through individual learning plans, developing their capacity to thrive.
Typically these are groups which need the support of a smaller class sizes to ensure learners receive additional tutor attention and who are most comfortable learning in a familiar and local setting (a community venue).
Community partner requirements
The partner must:
- know the learning needs of the local community and the members of the group they’re seeking to support, because they’re working locally and know local people;
- be prepared to review progress with learners in a friendly and supportive, informal manner; and
- confirm that the group is excluded from mainstream main campus college provision and so requires the community based learning service requested because it’s the most appropriate form of support.
The community partner therefore acts as the representative of the student in requesting the Wider Access programme; as the appropriate way to achieve their agreed educational aims and progression.
The Wider Access application form (signed by the learner’s representative) formalises this relationship.
Although the College generates an individual learning plan which records the additional support being provided, the learners’ need for the programme and progression from it is reviewed with the learner by the community partner organisation representing them.
Range of Support
In general, the courses supported are available from the College’s current portfolio, taught by College staff and generally within normal College hours.
If the course or flexible learning programme wanted is not normally covered by the College (see prospectus or www.glasgowkelvin.ac.uk for details) please make enquiries anyway: we may be able to provide support.
Courses should support employability or have a clear progression route identified and should support the development of core skills (IT, Communications, Numeracy, Working with Others, Problem Solving) as well as having a vocational, personal or social skills development focus.
Examples of courses provided previously include:
- Basic IT Skills;
- Business and Office Software Skills;
- Confidence Building;
- Customer Service;
- HABC SCPLH (Alcohol) Personal Licence Holders;
- Healthy Eating;
- REHIS Elementary Health and Safety;
- REHIS Emergency First Aid;
- REHIS food hygiene; and
- please ask rather than assume we can’t...
The most effective form of computing support tends to be in the form of flexible learning programmes which support individuals to learn based on their own interests and starting points, but if a group all wishes the same programme then this can be accommodated.
Support for staff and volunteers
The fund is also available to support community capacity building and the College is happy to consider applications from community or social economy organisations that, in the absence of an appropriate training budget, may be in need of training for their employees or volunteers in order to support the development of the organisation and its ability to make a positive difference to the lives of local people.
Staff and volunteers learning alongside the community group members they’re supporting helps to develop the trusted relationships essential for community learning and development, so if some places are for staff and volunteers as well as the groups being supported, the College is more than happy that an appropriate mix participates in the learning.
Community Achievement Awards
In response to the challenges posed by the City’s Single Outcome Agreement priority to support areas characterised by multiple deprivation to thrive, and in recognition of the key role of inclusive community activities, the need for support for some people to become involved in them and the immensely important role of voluntary work in delivering and developing community activities, the College has developed a series of SCQF credit-rated Community Achievement Awards.
The Community Achievement Awards are available at the following levels:
- SCQF Level 4: 40 hours of learning through getting involved in community activities
- SCQF Level 5: 40 hours of learning through assisting in the delivery of community activities
- SCQF Level 6: 60 hours of learning through delivering community activities
- SCQF Level 7: 80 hours of learning through developing community activities
Community Achievement Awards are one of a variety of ways in which voluntary community activities can be supported and are supported only after meeting with the partner to confirm their suitability.
Individual courses will be no more than 12 weeks in length and will normally be delivered within one of the College’s three teaching blocks.
It may be possible to arrange continuing courses provided that they support the development of new skills at each stage, and provided that there are enough people wishing to continue onto each new stage.
In session 2016 -2017 the college will be operating Wider Access tutor support provision within blocks of 12 weeks.
Block 3 Dates are as follows: Start Date 6 March 2017 End Date 16 June 2017
The College will try to support start and end times to suit partner requests but timetabling constraints mean that it’s easiest if the start and end times of tutor-supported sessions were to be where possible between 09:00 and 12:15 and 13:00 and 16:15.
College CPD Conference days take place on the following dates: Thursday November 24th and Wednesday March 8th. Tutors therefore may not be available on these days.
- Understand the needs of the group you’re working with;
- Read these support notes;
- Meet with a curriculum manager, community learning and development worker or the head of service and discuss the needs of the group you’re supporting; and
- Complete the tutor request form and send to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The budget is limited so it’s best to apply as soon as you know the needs or likely needs of the group you’re working with.
If you know your requirements for the entire year then it is advisable to submit applications right away for all three sessions (Aug – November, November – March, March – June) – but each block has to be agreed again based on evidence that the group is attending, learning, attaining and progressing.
We’d normally hope to see learners progressing from one level or subject to another. For example, from introductory word processing, a learner might move to intermediate and then advanced word processing, or may prefer to develop skills using spreadsheets, or working with image editing software
Meeting with the College representative as indicated above is the best way of ensuring that the College’s support is appropriate and based on partnership rather than simple service provision.
The College will always try to honour its commitments, and expects its partners to try to in similar manner. Once an arrangement has been made to provide a tutor service through the Wider Access programme the College will do its best to maintain the service, for example providing where possible alternative cover in the case of tutor illness or other unavoidable interruption.
In return, the College will expect that the partner will encourage and support learners to attend the tutor services provided and to recruit additional learners when spaces become available.
If attendance falls below viable level which justifies the public expense the decision to provide tutor support will be reviewed and the tutor service may be withdrawn. In these circumstances the College will try to identify appropriate alternatives based in nearby partner learning centres or the main College campuses.
Further information about the programme is available from Craig Green, Head of Faculty (Community and Flexible Learning), Glasgow Kelvin College, 123 Flemington Street, Glasgow, G21 4TD, telephone 07736162553 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.