Research & Consultancy Service – West London Adult & Community Learning ServicesLondon Borough of Hounslow

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West London Alliance (WLA) is a partnership between seven local authorities in west London, including the boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow. The WLA is procuring this work on behalf of all these London boroughs.

In preparation for skills devolution and as part of a national programme, London government undertook a review of Adult and Community Learning (ACL) services and providers across the capital. This review ran in parallel to a wider London skills area review.

The purpose of the ACL review was to establish the long term strategic direction of post-19 adult and community learning provision, provide a comprehensive picture of adult education in London and develop recommendations for the commissioning and delivery of ACL provision in London post devolution. The ACL review covered all ACL services commissioned by London boroughs, five Institutes for Adult Learning (IALs) and a small number of other ACL providers. The review was completed in early 2017.

The review of ACL services in London found that overall ACL provision is of good quality with high satisfaction, although there is room for improvement. Duplication, particularly in management and the back office, could be reduced, although the strongest driver for change is the devolution of skills funding. West London boroughs, as well as all other London sub-regions, have therefore been working together on developing proposals for devolution and public service reform.

The WLA has secured funding via the DfE’s transition grant to take forward recommendations from the ACL review in London. This specification outlines two phases of work outlined within the transition grant bid, which is aligned to a wider roadmap agreed within west London.

The key outcome to establish evidence based recommendations for future ACL services through assessment of west London ACL service and options for joint working to support the development of resilient and sustainable service ACL service provision for west London. The work should build on and develop some of the recommendations from the ACL review and should inform the development of the future west London ACL service design. It should take account of the likely context of a declining budget for ACL activity in London.

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