The Excellence Gateway Treasury
The Excellence Gateway Treasury contains websites and resources that are still valuable, but are no longer updated. Please note that contact information may be out of date and links may not work. Recent content is available on the
Cookies may be downloaded to your device when browsing EG Treasury websites. More information about managing cookies is available from the
We used to get loads of people wanting help to pass the Life in the UK' test. But it's against UfI rules - we're a test centre, and we're not allowed to teach the book'. We could refer people to other providers - but they know us, because of our other courses, and wanted us to help.
We found out there is another route to meeting the citizenship requirement for ESOL learners. Provided they attend citizenship classes, and can show progression in ESOL, and evidence of having done at least 100 guided learning hours, that meets the qualification requirements. But it was really hard to identify what the approval processes are. It took us about 18 months of research, negotiating with the awarding bodies, UfI and the Home Office, before we were sure we had got it right.
Now we are running this programme, it's brilliant. It's made all the difference to our Somali women learners, particularly. Our learners become British. That means they gain the ID they need to get driving licences, mobile phone contracts - just everything we take for granted. And their confidence improves beyond measure once their speaking and listening skills have advanced.
Advice to others? - Just do it! But there are a couple of things you need to have in place. Firstly, you need native speakers for your target population. And secondly, the IAG is critical. This course is not an easy option.
Sarah Renshaw, Quality and Audit Manager
How do you meet the learning needs of non-traditional learners, who don't speak English, and culturally, who tend to stay at home? And is it worth the effort?
Why not download the Q-box Action Plan for this example and make notes while you read?
Easton Learning Centre found that there was a huge demand among Somali women for a programme which would improve their English, and meet the Home Office citizenship requirement. And their view of the programme which was designed for them? Sarah Renshaw, who designed the programme, said They are not traditional learners, but they do need English to be able to visit the doctor, talk to their children's teachers, and just engage in everyday life. Some of the women enjoy the Saturday morning listening class so much, they go on coming and chatting to each other, even after they have passed the test. And they've organised reciprocal childcare, which is great - I could have got funding for childcare for them, that's not the problem, but there are no providers for children under two in this area. Once they have passed the course, and got their ID, they can really start to participate in the life of the country. Working with women means we reach the whole family - and indeed the whole community.'
The Home Office requirements are that learners should study citizenship, and should show progression in ESOL. So the Centre designed ESOL courses using the content of the citizenship course, as well as the more usual ESOL course content.
There is also a requirement for learners to show evidence of having spent a minimum of 100 guided learning hours on the programme. To meet this, the centre designed a diary sheet for learners to show what they had been doing, and how long they had spent on it. This covers not just class group work and exercises, but also out of class activities using speaking and listening skills, such as shopping in the pharmacy, or watching East Enders.
There are unexpected complexities and costs with dealing with non-traditional learners. Managing a programme for learners from a country with little or no documented identification can be an administrative nightmare. Just getting the administration right, around spelling people's names, needs someone with the same language as the learners.
The information, advice and guidance for potential learners is very complex. There is no funding available for this programme, and it is not for everyone. It won't be any use for people whose visa is about to expire. Whoever is advising needs to be thoroughly familiar with the Home Office rules about who needs to do the citizenship test. And they need to be quite clear that taking the Life in the UK' test is going to be quicker and cheaper than doing the ESOL course route. Taking a course with a guided learning hours requirement of 100 hours, over a period of three months, is intensive and demanding.
In the six months the programme has been running, 450 learners have completed it successfully. They have talked to their friends, and there is now a waiting list for the programme. Only one other provider in the area offers anything similar, and their programme is for a smaller number of learners, and takes a year to complete.
Uploaded - November 2008
The Building Better Practice (BBP) web resource is a great place to start if you want to benchmark yourself against other providers. It will show you the most common inspection strengths and weaknesses for each issue or topic, an analysis of the good practice found on inspection and a series of health-check questions to help you establish how you compare to others. Look specifically at how you could use BBP to improve your programme recruitment
practice and consider equal opportunities and recruitment.
Actions for Quality Improvement (AQI) is a set of activities with resources around which you can run staff development sessions with your teams. The activities cover all aspects of the learner's journey and will help your staff embed quality improvement in the heart of your provision. Look specifically at how you could use AQI to improve your recruitment practice.
If you need more help, ideas and resources for the process of self assessment then look at the L earner-Centred Self Assessment (LCSA) materials. This is a web-based or hard-copy resource to help you generate a rich source of evidence for your self-assessment report through professional discussion rather than the completion of lengthy forms.
9 Data Projects to Improve Your Provision is a set of projects which help you use data to explore all aspects of the learner's journey for improvement themes.
The Self-Assessment Surgery Projects have proved very popular at the Preparing for Inspection events. They will help you determine whether or not your SAR is fit for purpose.
Interpreting the Common Inspection Framework (CIF) is essential guidance on how to interpret the CIF for your remit and is now contained in the appendices of the Ofsted inspection handbook for work-related and adult and community learning.
The Inspection Toolkit contains step-by-step guidance on how to prepare for inspection and covers such topics as choosing the right person to be nominee, using data and self assessment.
Areas of learning
Types of provision
1. How well do learners achieve?, 3. How well do programmes and activities meet the needs and interests of learners?
Easton Learning Centre has four centres operating in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. It offers the full range of learndirect courses, including Life in the UK', a computer-based test for citizenship. A high proportion of its learners are ex-offenders, referred from the probation service. It achieves 90 per cent of the probation area's learndirect Skills for Life targets.
Easton Learning Zone, pictured, is one of the Bristol centres. It is in an area with a large Somali population.
01179022872 or 07716999762
Easton Learning Centre94 Stapleton RoadEastonBristolBS5 0PW
You can find this page and download any referenced resources from the Excellence Gateway at http://www.excellencegateway.org.uk/easton2.
© Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) 2012