Sandwell Adult and Family Learning Service (SAFL) is committed to providing the best possible opportunities for all learners. We want everyone to achieve his or her full potential and to enjoy what the service has to offer.
The Curriculum Quality strategy is based on moving the whole service forward in this commitment. Our shared values being to:
- Challenge - yourself to achieve your potential
- Champion - your dreams and aspirations
- Celebrate - your achievements
- Create Community Spirit - a sense of belonging and working together
Equality and Diversity
Sandwell Adult and Family Learning Service is committed to promoting equality and celebrating diversity. We want every person to do well and enjoy their class. We will:
- Treat you with respect.
- Support you with your work in a safe place.
- Celebrate your efforts and successes and help you if things don’t go well.
- Make sure that all facilities are as accessible as possible.
- Make sure that our enrolment and assessment procedures are fair and that any barriers faced by learners are dealt with.
- Make sure that harassment and discrimination are not tolerated.
- Make sure that our staff are trained in disability awareness.
- Create courses that reflect the needs of our diverse community.
Sandwell Adult and Family Learning knows that it is important to keep the children, young people and vulnerable adults who come to our courses safe. SAFL has a legal and moral duty to support people who come to our courses and to support people where there may be risk. Safeguarding aims to keep children, young people and vulnerable adults safe from harm and to prevent harm.
Prevent is the safeguarding part of the National Counter Terrorism Strategy and aims to stop people being drawn into or supporting terrorism. The strategy focuses on three key areas, which are to:
tackle the causes of radicalisation and respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism
safeguard and support those most at risk of radicalisation through early intervention, identifying them and offering support
enable those who have already engaged in terrorism to disengage and rehabilitate
By providing a safe environment we will support young people to express their views but also appreciate the impact their views can have on others. We will encourage learners to take responsibility for their actions and to understand that the use of violence to further any cause is intolerable. Staff will be briefed on the indicators of possible extremism and radicalisation and will refer any concerns to the Safeguarding Team immediately.
Read more about the Prevent Strategy
Download our booklet - An Introduction: Prevent & Channel - this has information about safeguarding people from radicalisation, extremism and terrorism
Referrals for over 18: email@example.com
Referrals for under 18: Access_Team@sandwellchildrenstrust.org
Ofsted inspected Sandwell Adult and Family Learning Service in March 2023 and were rated as a Good Provider
The Ofsted report listed the following strengths:
Leaders and governors promote well the service’s clear vision and mission. SAFL priorities are at the heart of many of the council’s plans to tackle local learning and to rectify skills inequalities. Managers use local socio-economic and market intelligence to good effect in planning the service’s curriculum. For example, increasing the employability skills of local residents through a focus on literacy, numeracy and basic ICT skills needs. In addition, leaders have adapted the community learning offer to focus on the health and well-being of the most disadvantaged residents across the borough.
Tutors are well organised and plan very effectively to engage learners in a good range of practical and interesting activities that encourage group and individual working, promote good progress and contribute to a good pace of learning. They use questioning well to stimulate lively discussions and to help monitor learning. As a result, learners feel confident to push themselves beyond their comfort zone and extend their learning.
The standard of learners’ work is good across the provision. In painting and drawing, tutors place a strong emphasis on learners’ understanding of sound design principles of shape, form and perspective using sketchbooks. In entry mathematics lessons, tutors carefully build on and reinforce mathematical concepts using everyday examples to which learners can easily relate too. In step-up English classes and lessons on British culture, tutors plan carefully crafted activities for learners that weaves literacy and language together creatively. As a result, learners use the new skills they have learned to increase their confidence and improve their everyday lives.
Tutors in mathematics at levels 1 and 2 do not consistently review and amend learners’ targets to enable them to make the progress of which they are capable or provide incisive and detailed developmental feedback to help them extend their fluency in numeracy skills. In addition, a few tutors do not always use the results from initial assessments to identify the underlying support needs of learners or identify those aspects that have a measurable impact on learners’ learning experiences.
Learners appreciate the clear guidance and information which give them confidence that they are on appropriate courses. Information, advice and guidance before, and at the start of courses are good and result in most learners remaining on the course; successfully extending their learning and where appropriate gaining their qualifications.
Tutors are very sensitive to the needs of the culturally and ethnically diverse learners and introduce relevant topics on equality and diversity well in most learning sessions. They create a productive and harmonious learning environment in which learners learn well together. Learners trust their tutors and will seek their help with a wide range of personal, emotional, welfare and safeguarding related concerns. Leaders responded well to the recommendations from the previous inspection. Arrangements for the management of subcontractors are effective. Leaders agree and set appropriate quality monitoring targets with the subcontractors and regularly evaluate the quality of education they provide
Governors provide good scrutiny and challenge to leaders. They have a good understanding of the current challenges faced by the service and ensure that adult and community learning courses meet the changing needs of learners and their communities. However, governors do not receive sufficient timely information about the in-year progress of current learners.
A matrix assessment was conducted in July 2023 with the service being awarded the Matrix standard for provision of Information, Advice and Guidance.
Pound Plus Policy 2023
The West Midlands Combined Authority require, as part of their funding rules, Adult Community Learning providers to have in place a Pound Plus policy. Pound Plus refers to additional income generated by providers over and above our core income from the Adult Education Budget (AEB). It is a term used to describe how learning providers can show how they are maximising the value of public investment. This is important because generating additional income and cost savings is central to the objective of driving up participation within a very constrained public funding environment.
Additional, pound plus income can include fee income, funding from other sources, income from resources in kind and other sources of revenue including:
- Fee Generation: SAFL have in place a fee income structure which is competitively priced, ranging from workshops and courses to other community learning courses with concessionary fees available. The income raised from fees is used to fund courses and we have a hardship fund for those most in need. (Please see our Course Fee Policy)
- Joint Funding & Grants: SAFL seeks funding from other sources including partnerships with local authority departments, from other adult community learning providers and voluntary and non-profit making local organisations as well as responding to AEB growth opportunities from the WMCA.
- Business Charges: SAFL will seek to deliver bespoke courses and trade services to other organisations and businesses who can afford to pay a higher contribution rate that covers the management costs of running the course, plus other on-costs including additional resources.
- Rent on Premises: SAFL will continue to generate additional income from the rental of office space and meeting rooms by internal local authority departments and third-party stakeholders and partners.
To maximise funding and to provide value for money SAFL will seek to making cost savings as follows:
- Venue Savings: SAFL has three centres and does work in partnership with other providers to deliver localised learning across the borough. When working with external venues the lowest rates of venue hire will be negotiated with the partner organisation on the grounds of the benefit of the community learning to the local area.
- Reducing Costs through Reducing Repetition: The Strategic partnership will map learning opportunities and activities from public, private and third sector providers across the borough which will reduce overlap and unnecessary repetition of courses. This allows funds to be diverted to other areas of greater need.
- Subcontractors Commitment: SAFL will seek commitment from subcontractors in relation to any contract for delivery to declare additional funds which will be utilised in the delivery of provision. Consideration will be taken to ensure that this does not result in double funding and will demonstrate the commitment of our partner organisations to support the local community.
- Volunteering: When appropriate SAFL will utilise the use of volunteers to support the delivery of courses. Volunteers support governance.
- Contributions in kind: The Council pay for our three centres and contribute towards SAFL’s ICT infrastructure, the Council provides back office support functions in procurement, HR and finance. The council provides a coordinated staff development and training package.
How will Pound Plus be monitored?
Sandwell Adult and Family Learning will collect data throughout the year to monitor Pound Plus against provision data. This data will be reviewed on a termly basis. With respect to subcontracted provision, SAFL uses a Pound Plus Data Collection Form, sent out with the Self-Assessment Report (SAR) form for sub-contractors to complete. Once the forms are returned, they are recorded by provider and used as supporting evidence when considering individual provider SARs. The combined Pound Plus figures will be used as additional data to inform judgements made in SAFL’s over-arching Self-Assessment Report.
For further information contact:
Adult and Community Learning Manager
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org