John Hayes, the Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further Education and Skills, had two important messages for the conference in London on 9 March to celebrate the achievements of the Community Learning Champions programme.
The first was that the contribution of CLCs would be taken into account in the current review of informal adult and community learning that his department BIS is carrying out. Referring to the 100,000 learners reached by 2000 community learning champions, he said:
“We do not underestimate the impact that Community Learning Champions can have in their communities. Who else knows their community better than those who live within it? Over the coming months we will work closely with partners to consider how public funding can be refocused and reprioritised to guide and support the people who need the most help and have had the fewest opportunities.”
Secondly he added, visibly moved by the film about CLCs he had just watched, that when he got back to the office he would be looking at how to ensure that the CLC programme continued.
The London Academy has successfully delivers the Brent Learning Leaders CLC project. We have developed 23 leaders who have reached and engaged with over 500 adults learners in West London. Academy Director Vijay Amin is excited by the opportunity for the Brent Leaders in getting involved with localized agenda and the big society initiatives. He comments “Our CLCs have fabulous skills and connections to support agencies to reach out to adults from various communities in West London. They are an asset for us and it is our intention to continue to support and develop them over the next year..
As the Community Learning Champions’ Support Programme – funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) – draws to an end later this month, the purpose of the event was to celebrate the national programme’s success by highlighting how lives are transformed when learning champions are given effective resources, support and training. Eight projects presented aspects of their work at roundtable discussions and a further seven mounted exhibitions. Two new films were launched, soon to be available on line here. A report on the work of the national support programme – featuring case studies of projects and individual Community Learning Champions – will be published on 29 March 2011.