Adult Learning Opportunities in the West End #dundeewestend

The latest Adult Learning newsletter for the city has been published – covering the winter months – and you can download it here.
 
It is good to see the adult learning offering at the Mitchell Street Centre being publicised, something I was in touch during the autumn with council officers about promoting the great offering.
 
I am also pleased to see the work of Harris Education and Recreation Association featured.

Adult learning in the West End #dundeewestend

The new Dundee City Council adult learning newsletter is now available and you can download it here.
 
In addition to details of the Job Shop at the Mitchell Street Centre, there is detail of activities right across the city.
 
There’s also a update about Harris Education and Recreation Association :

Harris Education and Recreation Association Inaugural AGM success

Earlier tonight, at a very well-attended meeting at Harris Academy, the Harris Education and Recreation Association was re-established.   
 
This will take forward evening classes at the school now Harris Academy has returned to Perth Road.
 
Prior to the school decant to Lawton Road to enable the school rebuilding in Perth Road, there was an active Harris Education and Recreation Association (HERA) that successfully provided a programme of evening classes over many years.    At the time of the decant, the previous committee retired after many years’ service to the community.
 
It is great that there’s now a new HERA and a committee to take forward the provision of evening classes into the future.  Please e-mail me at hera@frasermacpherson.org.uk if you wish to get involved and I will pass on your interest to the committee.
Some of the group tonight during a tour of the new school building after the meeting

Evening classes at the new Harris Academy – an update

Last night, I also attended the second informal meeting to discuss the creation of a new committee to take forward adult learning/evening classes from when Harris Academy returns to Perth Road.   
 
Prior to the school decant to Lawton Road to enable the school rebuilding in Perth Road, there was an active Harris Education and Recreation Association that successfully provided a programme of evening classes over many years.    At the time of the decant, the previous committee retired after many years’ service to the community.
 
Getting a new group together to take evening classes and adult education at the Harris is taking good shape and we had a very positive meeting last night.    Do please let me know if you are interested in getting involved.   You can also complete a short survey about possible evening classes and adult learning at Harris Academy by clicking here.

Evening classes at the new Harris Academy – next meeting

Further to my update in November about a possible new group to run evening classes and adult learning at Harris Academy after the school returns to its Perth Road campus next August, the next meeting of the informal group to take this forward and seek your views and input will take place at Blackness Library (enter by Blackness Avenue entrance, not main entrance) at 6.30pm on Wednesday 27th January – all welcome!
 
Please so complete the short survey about possible evening classes and adult learning at Harris Academy by clicking here.

Evening classes at the new Harris Academy – an update

Further to my recent update about a possible new group to run evening classes and adult learning at Harris Academy after the school returns to its Perth Road campus next August, tonight I attended an informal meeting at Blackness Library to discuss the way forward.
 
It was a very positive meeting and we are looking to meet again early in the New Year after we have the results of a residents’ survey now being undertaken across the West End to get views on adult learning at Harris.   
 
Please participate by completing the short survey here – many thanks.

Adult learning in the West End – an update

Last month, I highlighted my concerns about reductions in adult learning provision that has left the West End without a dedicated adult learning worker.
 
Earlier today, I had a meeting with the City Council’s Adult Learning Manager about the issue.     Whilst being realistic that overturning the SNP administration’s cuts in adult learning was not going to be possible, what I did want to see at the very least for the West End is :
 
+ Named officers that constituents who are looking for adult learning opportunities can contact.
 
+ Assurances that West End residents can access adult learning opportunities across the city.
 
+ An assurance that the Adult Learning Team will help support the establishment of a new Harris Education and Recreation Association when Harris Academy returns to the Perth Road on completion of the new school building in August 2016.    I am anxious that the community gets full access to the excellent facilities the new school will offer and that a vibrant programme of evening classes is on offer.
 
I found our meeting today very helpful.     The three assurances I sought were given and the following follow-up e-mail from the Adult Learning Manager summarises the situation :

In addition to the targeted  geographic areas we have thematic leads :

•Literacy/numeracy : Sheila Robertson 

•English for Speakers of other  languages : Kirsty Gemmell

•Family Learning : Sarah McEwan 

•Employability : Liz Allardice 

Therefore, if the question relates to a  thematic area, I would suggest they go to that Senior. If it is a wider issue in relation to Adult Learning provision then to myself.

In addition, we are continuing with our commitment to support Adult Education Associations and Liz Allardice is supporting the Adult Education Associations in Stobswell and Broughty Ferry and we would extend this support to helping set up a new Adult Education Association for Harris.

I have made a note to catch up with you about this next August to start setting this up. 

I would also stress that  although our provision  may not  be geographically based in The Ferry or West End Wards the facilities at Mitchell Street are open to anyone in the city.   Additionally, people from the West End and Broughty Ferry Wards can access our services in other community venues  if there is evidence of need but they won’t be based in their localities due to the reduction in our resource.

I can pass on contact details of appropriate adult learning staff to any constituent interested in specific adult learning opportunities and more information is available at www.discoverlearning.org.   You can also download the Summer 2014 Dundee Adult Learning Newsletter here.

Concern over adult learning cuts

I have expressed concern about Dundee City Council cuts in adult learning provision that has left the West End without a dedicated adult learning worker, which is a highly detrimental move.

 
The City Council has advised me :
As a result of the savings we have  reduced the number of Adult Learning Teams from five to four with a reduction in our staff complement by  one Senior Adult Learning Worker and two Adult Learner Worker posts.  This follows year on year reduction in staffing, as a result of the savings, and  as such we are no longer able to sustain the level of provision that was previously offered by Adult Learning.  Therefore, we have had to look at a full scale review of the service which involves a reconfiguration of both the staff structure and areas of provision.
There is no longer the capacity within the Adult Learning Section to deliver a universal city-wide Adult Learning provision.  In line with the Prevention Framework for Dundee Partnership, the outcomes set in the Single Outcome Agreement and within the context of the CLD Strategic Guidance, it is the intention to refocus Adult Learning within the Prevention Framework as targeted prevention and early intervention work.  In effect this means geographic targeting at community areas in the 15% most deprived within the following Wards:  Lochee, Strathmartine, Coldside, Maryfield, East End and North East. 
In addition to this target based approach there is the recognition  to retain  literacy and ESOL provision on a referral based approach ; having a central resource at Mitchell Street working in partnership with key agencies/voluntary organisations. 

This means there will be no staff deployed geographically to target communities within the West End area.  However, people from the West End will still be able to access literacy and ESOL services through Mitchell Street and we have given the commitment to support Adult Education Associations, which means if HERA look to re-form once the new Harris premises are completed, then we would help support this development.

The admission that the Adult Learning Section can no longer deliver a universal city-wide Adult Learning provision is a pretty concerning state of affairs.    Adult learning is key to helping people into employment and, for example, constituents have commented how useful courses are, including assisting people for whom English is their second language.     I am particularly concerned at the lack of a dedicated worker to the West End – this is bad news.
 
I am meeting the council’s Adult Learning Manager to discuss my concerns as I feel that it is vital that Adult Learning across the city is not compromised.   I also raised the matter at yesterday’s City Council Scrutiny Committee.
 
I spoke on Wave 102 News yesterday about the issue – you can hear the interview by clicking ‘play’ below:

Adult Learning Newsletter – Summer 2012 edition

The City Council’s Adult Learning Newsletter for Summer 2012 is now available.

It includes details of adult learning opportunities in the West End, including “Just the Job”, a course for residents preparing for employment and for whom English is their second language, and “Options and Choices”, a course about career ideas and updating your CV.    Both courses commence on 23rd August at the Mitchell Street Centre.

Please note two corrections to the newsletter :

Jobshop Changes
Menzieshill Community Centre, Fridays 9.30am-12noon – contact Annette Miller 432973
Douglas Community Centre, Wednesdays 11am-12.30pm – Contact Claire Shepherd 436942

Adult learning newsletter

The City Council has recently published its adult community learning newsletter for the first part of 2012.

This includes details of some courses based at the Mitchell Street Centre such as Options and Choices (on career development, including updating your CV and interview skills) and Just the Job (for people whose second language is English and who are looking to improve their employment prospects).

You can download the newsletter by going to http://tinyurl.com/learningjan2012.