Updated: Nov 7, 2020
Tuesday 27 October 2020 The council’s cabinet is to discuss proposed changes to how Southend Adult Community College is run (Cabinet, Tuesday 3 November).
It is being recommend to councillors that the current Governing Body is changed to a more flexible approach which would mean a more direct relationship with the council and the creation of an Advisory Board to support recovery, growth, innovation, employability skills and learning in Southend-on-Sea.
Although the college is a Council service, it has operated at arms-length for a number of years via a governing body. It provides adult education, employability skills and work based learning. Most council run adult education services sit within existing council structures without a separate formal governing board.
Cllr Anne Jones, cabinet member for children and learning, says: “Skills and helping local people become job ready has never been more important and the adult community college is well positioned to focus on the skills that local people need to get jobs, keep them and progress in them. Along with our ambitious regeneration and investment programme, this will be crucial to local economic recovery.
“The college also has a long track record of providing courses and learning that improve mental health and physical wellbeing, reduces social isolation and provides skills for those in greatest need. For some it provides a much need lifeline and boost.
“The college is also delivering much needed learning both virtually and face to face to those from disadvantaged groups, the vulnerable and those facing unemployment.
“It is felt that by making this change in governance, the college can optimise public funds and align more closely with our stated priorities and ambition.
“An Advisory Board would provide relevant support and challenge to allow the college to both stabilise its financial position and prepare for delivering economic growth and innovation.”
For more information on the college and courses, please visit their website.
Background: The college provides community learning that brings local people together virtually and face to face to keep them active and engaged. The college provides apprenticeships, skills for life and work and vocational pathways for more than 2,500 adults and young people each year with progression into further learning and work.
Research reflects that adult learning and skills can significantly reduce strain on other council service area budgets and often prevent future strain on limited cross service budgets.