Launch of Community Learning reform survey

This message asks you, as a directly-funded provider in receipt of an SFA Community Learning allocation, to please complete an on-line survey to give an assessment of your progress in implementing the Community Learning reform agenda. 

The survey can be found at; it has been tested by volunteer providers, and should take no more than half an hour to complete.

Why this survey?
Completion of this survey will help to identify areas for support and development, and enable HOLEX, AoC, LEAFEA and TSNLA – as the relevant provider membership bodies – to lobby for more resources.  Findings will also inform design and delivery of the NIACE Support Programme, including selecting material for posting on the Community Learning Reform web site.  We will also produce and publish a summary report which should help your organisation benchmark itself; and our report will include insights into effective practice you may care to consider adopting. 

What does this survey consider?
New BIS policy objectives for Community Learning were first announced in New Challenges, New Chances and, since the start of 2013/14, all funded providers of Community Learning have had to follow SFA guidance reflecting these objectives.  In summary, providers are expected to use the SFA allocation as a contribution to local expenditure on Community Learning; lever in additional resources (so-called “pound plus”); work in close partnership; set clear priorities and apply appropriate outcome measures; address disadvantage while maintaining a “universal offer”; and involve local residents, communities and stakeholders in planning and delivering relevant provision.  

The provider membership bodies, supported by NIACE and with agreement from BIS and SFA officials, are keen to assess the extent to which the Community Learning reform agenda is being implemented.  Please help by considering each question in the survey carefully and letting us know about your progress locally.   The survey primarily seeks your qualitative views on how well things are going, and where you might be experiencing “sticking points”.  We are seeking an honest appraisal of the current position “on the ground” vis a vis implementation of what is a quite challenging set of reforms.  Any reporting we do will NOT identify specific providers, so please be assured your responses will be confidential.

How do I make a survey response?
The on-line survey is accessed via  It needs to be completed online, and in one sitting.  We are looking for only ONE response from each funded provider. 

The survey is best completed by the senior manager responsible, in your organisation, for work supported by the Community Learning funding allocation from SFA – although that person may wish to consult with colleagues internally, and perhaps with partners, before they complete the survey.  You will not need to assemble any data prior to online completion.  A PDF version of the survey is attached so you can see what is being asked before you go on-line; it may also help in any discussion with partners. Please use the PDF document for initial reference only. 

The survey is now open, and will remain so until Friday 7 November 2014. 

This message is being sent to all relevant HOLEX, AoC, LEAFEA and TSNLA contacts: we may post update messages at various points between now and when the survey closes.  If you have any questions about the survey, please contact in the first instance.  Please also contact us if you need the survey in a more accessible format.  

Thanks for completing this survey, which will help us try and secure support for your ongoing development of Community Learning in line with the reform agenda.
For more information on the policy background to this survey, see:… – this takes you to New Challenges, New Chances, where page 14 lists the Community Learning reform objectives… takes you to SFA funding guidance, where pages 70-72 refer