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'Embracing Adult Learning Opportunities in East Suffolk' - Event

2019 Conference Group shot

The event on 3rd October at High Lodge, Darsham, was a practical and informative morning preparing providers to bid for future adult learning opportunities.

Around 30 providers met to hear best practice and local challenges from peers and learn how to register on a new procurement system at Suffolk County Council.

The event provided an excellent chance to network and discuss the possibility of having a regular meeting as part of an East Suffolk Adult Learning Network. A report was written following the conference which you can read below.

UPDATE: The East Suffolk Partnership will fund the new East Suffolk Adult Learning network for the first year while it becomes established, as agreed by the Board.

Adult Learning Conference photo 1

DECISION: The outcome proposal was supported, and it was agreed to allocate up to £6,000 of ESP funding conditional on the following issue being addressed:

Seek clarity on how the network will be sustained after the first (funded) year is complete.

The proposal and request for funding was submitted following a very successful conference held on the 22nd May 2018 entitled ‘Future-proofing All Adult Learning’, which was attended by nearly 30 delegates from a number of different training providers.

Comments received included:

  • "Pleased to see East Coast leading the way in the County – thank you"
  • "Much appreciate East Suffolk Partnership are sharing the results of the research"
  • "Can we share this practice with other areas of Suffolk"
  • "Interesting morning"

The theme of the conference was around collaboration and this was reflected in both the keynote speech from Stephen Amer (The Voice cLoud), and the workshops led by Chris Abraham (Community Action Suffolk) and Sabrina Ward (Menta). Delegates were keen to explore the opportunities that could arise from working together and this culminated in discussion around forming an East Suffolk Adult Learning Network that could achieve many of these positive results.

The facilitator of the event, Chris McGuinness, has written a report summarising the outcomes of the conference and recommending the next steps. A link to the report is below.

As the network gets up and running, future meeting dates will be posted here. If you interested in getting involved, please contact Emily Oxborrow on Emily.oxborrow@eastsuffolk.gov.uk.

Adult Learning Conference photo 2

An important part of the event was sharing some research that had been carried out the previous year. Over the summer of 2017, an Intern within the Economic Development Team collated and analysed a huge number of courses across East Suffolk to evaluate what is currently available, and also launched a survey asking for people’s views on the current provision as well as what they would like to access in the future.

He wrote a report outlining the findings of the research and makes several recommendations in the light of it. This work was initiated following a decision to gain a greater understanding of adult learning provision across East Suffolk, and to identify learners’ barriers to accessing existing provision.