As part of the reform of community learning the Skills Funding Agency (the Agency) has commissioned the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) to manage a grants programme in the academic year 2012/13. The Community Learning Innovation Fund (CLIF) will provide grants of between £10,000 and £65,000, up to a combined total of £4million, to organisations from across England for new and imaginative community learning opportunities to encourage adults to take up, succeed and progress in learning. Projects will be funded to run from September 2012 to 31st July 2013. The purpose of this Prospectus is to set out the aims of the CLIF and to assist those completing an application.
What does ‘community learning’ mean?
Community learning is an umbrella term describing a broad range of learning that brings together adults, often of different ages and backgrounds, to pursue an interest, address a need, acquire a new skill, become healthier or learn how to support their children. It is usually unaccredited. It can be undertaken for its own sake or as a step towards other learning. It includes structured adult education courses taught by professionally qualified teachers, independent study online and self-organised study groups. It may happen in personal time or work time and be delivered by providers in the public, private or third sectors, or organised by people for themselves through the many groups, clubs and societies where people get together to learn.
As well as offering personal fulfilment, community learning helps beak down the barriers of race, class, faith, age and background that can sometimes divide communities, playing an important role in improving local environments and creating secure and welcoming neighbourhoods. It can also improve people’s health and well being and help them become more capable in using digital technology. Each year, community learning improves the quality of thousands of lives across England. It often makes a contribution towards local economies by helping people gain the confidence and skills to progress to training and employment and become more self-reliant and independent.