News from the South West Lifelong Learning Network Issue 10
In this issue
4 Foundation Degree Approved
5 Adult Learners’ Fair
6 Improving IAG at Volunteer Bureau
SWLLN TAKES RESEARCH FINDINGS TO
THE UNITED NATIONS
Dr Gregory Borne (pictured above with Maaike Jansen), from the South West Lifelong Learning
Network (SWLLN) has met with members of the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) at United Nations headquarters in New York to outline details of his research regarding
town and parish council needs for a sustainable Devon and Cornwall, which is the first project of
its kind in the United Kingdom.
Project Lead, Dr Gregory Borne, said, “The project combines the three elements of education
and training, sustainable development and community enhancement.
“It takes an in depth look at the often neglected town and parish tier of local government which
is becoming increasingly important in the sustainable development agenda. This project will
ultimately provide an invaluable information base for a broad range of organisations at local,
regional, national and international level.”
2005-2014 has been designated the United Nations Decade for Education on Sustainable
Development so the research is highly relevant to the United Nations.
Members of the UNEP team including Maaike Jansen and Fabienne Fon Sing posed many
questions, as well as offering advice on how to take the project forward, and seek partnership
United Nations Environment Programme Officer, Maaike Jansen, said, “Dr Borne provided us
with an overview of his project and its core objectives.
“We had a lively discussion and the feedback we provided was positive and constructive. We
shared a number of ideas on possible entry- points and links to the UN’s work, which could be
explored as the project progresses and we asked to be kept abreast of developments.”
Director of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination, Adnan Amin, agreed to
distribute details of the project to relevant UN entities within the UN system.
Details of the project have been passed to the Commission for Sustainable Development and
continued on page 3
Learning Power Issue 10 Page 2
About the South West Lifelong Learning Network
The South West Lifelong Learning Network (SWLLN) is a Partnership which aims to create a greater
quality of choice in Higher Education for work-based, vocational learners
Welcome to the June edition of Learning Power! I mentioned in the last issue that we had a
busy time ahead of us and this quarter’s publication demonstrates just that!
in the region. It is part of a national initiative.
As many of you will be aware the network’s funding from HEFCE comes to an end in October
2009. In many ways this
The SWLLN is uniting with universities and colleges, employers and other organisations across the region
to develop flexible, bite-size university-level courses which will
has ensured that we remain fully focused on completing our aims and objectives as well as
working with partners to explore the embedding and sustainability of the developments/changes
facilitated through HEFCE’s investment in Lifelong Learning Networks.
be specifically relevant to the Public Services, Heritage, Tourism and Hospitality sectors.
The articles in this Learning Power demonstrate just how busy everyone has been. I am
delighted that Claire Puckett has, through her engagement with Bournemouth & Poole College
Progression agreements are being put in place with institutions across the region to allow learners to
move between different programmes and establishments.
Bournemouth University, facilitated the successful validation of the Cultural Services Foundation
Degree (Fd) for the eastern area of the network. Claire will be leaving us shortly to go on
maternity leave and I know that she will be missed by many colleagues, but we send her off with
our best wishes for her latest challenge!
Information, Advice and Guidance is also being strengthened to support learners.
An article by Dr Gregory Borne is in this edition of Learning Power and demonstrates the
growing awareness and importance of Sustainable Communities. This is evidenced by the
Bournemouth University is leading the SWLLN. The Partners engaged in the Network include: the
University of Plymouth; the Open University in the South West; the University of Exeter; the Arts
engagement at regional, national and international level Gregory and fellow practitioners have
secured this year. A number of us met recently with the Chief Executive of Cornwall Council to
discuss the interim findings of the research carried out with Parish and Town Councillors and
how the network can facilitate training and education solutions beyond October 2009.
Institute at Bournemouth; other Higher Education Institutions; all Further Education partner networks
within the south South West as well as a wide range of other organisations such as local authorities,
sector skills councils
In the current economic climate, appropriate Information, Advice, Guidance and Learner
Support for individuals is ever more important and the article by Marian Harrison provides an
insight into our work with providers to ensure they can support aspirations of individuals to
access an appropriate route into Higher Education.
and training providers.
Fun has also been part of the last few months through our support for events that provide
opportunities to increase awareness and
To request hard copies of Learning Power please contact:
aspirations to take up education and training opportunities. We were able to provide support to
the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival and a presence at the Devon County Show (thanks to all who
gave up their spare time – you know who you are!)
SWLLN Communications and Marketing Manager The Arts Institute at Bournemouth Academic
Development Unit Wallisdown Poole Dorset BH12 5HH
Finally, we have now fixed the date for our last conference, 21st October 2009 at Woodbury
Park Hotel and Golf Club, Exeter and it will be a unique opportunity to showcase the collective
achievements and a chance to thank all who have supported the network during the last three
years. If you would like to attend please contact Nadine Grimmett
firstname.lastname@example.org who will add you to the mailing list for this event. We will be
delighted to see you there!
Tel: 01202 961221
Belinda Payne, SWLLN
Director Email: email@example.com
Learning Power Issue 10 Page 3
Congratulations to the Arts Institute at Bournemouth
as it becomes a University College
The Arts Institute at Bournemouth recently gained the title of University College, following the award of
Taught Degree Awarding Powers last year. It remains one of the most successful and most popular
higher education specialists, with an excellent national and international reputation, committed to
providing the highest quality, industry-relevant creative degrees. It now offers over 20 degrees in art,
design, media and performance, as well as a range of short courses, a unique postgraduate programme,
and bespoke services to business.
From 1st July 2009, and in its 125th anniversary year, it will adopt the new title of THE ARTS
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE AT BOURNEMOUTH.
Professor Stuart Bartholomew, Principal, commented: “This is a hugely important step in our development
and achieves one of our key strategic objectives. In an ever more competitive global market, it is crucial
that we build upon the recognition and reputation of our offering, and the designation of University
College offers a significant contribution to this. We remain resolutely committed to providing the highest
quality education for our students, to supporting the creative industries and contributing to the country’s
economic success. We look forward to building upon our success as an innovative, specialist,
experienced and now fully independent HEI. This award is also significant for Bournemouth, Poole and
the county of Dorset as they will now be home to two universities.”
The University College was founded over a century ago and has undergone a number of transformations
and title changes throughout its history. Its Alumni include Turner Prize winner, Wolfgang Tillmans; Oscar
winning screenwriter Simon Beaufoy; and fashion photographer Nick Knight.
SWLLN takes research findings to the United
Continued from page 1 Dr Gregory Borne, said, “The success of the project is a product of the
increasing importance of sustainable development on the political agenda, increasing concerns
over the effects of global climate change and the dedication of the research team”.
He recently outlined details of the project to the Department of Business Innovation and Skills at
a Foresight Committee event in London.
The South West Lifelong Learning Network and the Town and Parish councils project were
recently illustrated in a report produced by the Commission for Rural Communities, called
Securing Effective Engagement for Parish and Town Councils with Unitary Structures and
Processes identified the importance of skills enhancement within the parish and town councils
of local government.
This report and other recent publications illustrate the importance of the parish’s work not just
for Cornwall but also on a national scale.
As the project is based on the principles of sustainable development it has multiple applications
with multiple beneficiaries.
Dr Gregory Borne has been invited by the UK’s Sustainable Development Commission to
participate in a debate about breakthrough ideas for the 21st century next month.
As a result of his research, Dr Gregory Borne has written a book called Sustainable
Development: The Reflexive Governance of Risk which is being published in August by Edwin
The book explores how sustainable development is being integrated into social and political life
from the United Nations through to local government.
Learning Power Issue 10 Page 4 Second
flexible Foundation degree for cultural
Combining study and work: using the Foundation
degree Cultural Services for career development
Jeanette (bottom right) is a Senior Library Assistant in a Further Education college, and has worked in
libraries for much of her working life. At the age of 50, she is looking to develop her career, and sees the
new Foundation degrees that have been developed in the South West as a great opportunity for
combining study with full-time work to enable her to achieve this.
What is it that she likes about library work? ‘I’m quite nosy I suppose, and I like finding things out; every
day you learn something new, being in this sort of environment’.
How has she developed her skills so far? Jeanette did a City and Guilds qualification for library
assistants, followed by a BTEC qualification specialising in libraries, complemented by activities within
her college staff development programme. She has found, however, that much of her learning has taken
place on the job: ‘you tend not to think about it in a structured way really’.
Doing a Foundation degree appeals to Jeanette, both to bring some structure to the learning process, and
to gain career recognition to enable her to progress into a more senior job role, such as Subject or Team
Librarian. She is interested in using the broad-based Foundation degree in Cultural Services at
Bournemouth and Poole College to explore other sectors, particularly museums: ‘the museum bit really
sold it for me – a chance to look at other things’.
How will the mode of study work for her? The course is taught in four intensive three-day blocks per year.
Jeanette feels that this mode
of study will really suit her: ‘that’s the way I learn best’, and will work in practice around her job. She has
been offered support from her employer to enable her to take on the commitment of the course.
Lifelong learning Jeanette sees herself as a lifelong learner, and is motivated to build on her work
experience and previous vocational study by undertaking the Foundation degree. Jeanette says ‘I try to
keep an open mind and keep learning, that’s what life’s all about. Now is my time and this seems like an
programme to get them off to a good start. As also requested by employers, all course units will be
available for study as short courses, to provide continuing professional development opportunities.
The new course completes the SWLLN’s Foundation degree development work for the cultural services
sector (libraries, museums, archives, galleries, heritage sites) in the South West. This success The
SWLLN is very pleased to announce the successful validation by Bournemouth University of the
Foundation degree Cultural Services (with library and museum pathways) for delivery at
follows on from the earlier validation of the FdA Libraries, Museums and Archives by the University of
Plymouth for delivery at Truro College from autumn 2009. Bournemouth and Poole College. The College
team were delighted to be commended by the validating panel of Bournemouth University academic staff,
national academics in the field and regional employers for their ‘commitment and dedication to
The SWLLN was pleased to take part in this year’s Lyme Regis Fossil Festival and the Devon County
Show. developing the course and responding to the needs of industry’.
The Fossil Festival was the biggest to date and saw thousands of visitors flocking to the town over the
The course will be launched in part-time mode,
course of three days. starting in January
2010. In response to local employer demand, the course will be run in four intensive three-day blocks per
year over three years. First year students will undertake an induction
For further details of both courses, and how to apply, contact:
Roy Watson, Bournemouth and Poole College Programme Leader FdA Cultural Services 01202 205345,
Cath Camps, Truro College Programme Leader FdA Libraries, Museums and The Archives
festival was led by the Lyme Regis Development Trust. 01872 And 267120, Chief
Executive Marcus Dixon said, “We were blessed with fine weather and our visitors all
The SWLLN out and about in the region
The SWLLN was pleased to take part in this year’s Lyme Regis Fossil Festival (top right) and
the Devon County Show (bottom right).
The Fossil Festival was the biggest to date and saw thousands of visitors flocking to the town
The over the course of three
SWLLN’s Ian Sherriff left The festival was led by the Lyme Regis Development
his post on Trust. And Chief Executive
Marcus Dixon said, “We
our exhibition were blessed with fine
weather and our visitors all
stand to take seemed to have a great
time, as borne out by a
part in a very sea of smiling faces.
lively debate about “Many visitors remarked on the sheer range of
Higher Education that was displays and
activities and I was particularly
broadcast on Radio Devon pleased
with all the opportunities available to our
whilst Peter Pierpoint younger visitors.”
(right) spoke to a number of visitors about how The 114th Devon County Show welcomed just
they could benefit from under 91,500
visitors this year and was described
APEL (Accreditation by the Devon
County Show Secretary, Ollie Allen,
of Prior Experiential as “one to
Exeter Adult Learners Fair Hailed a Great Success
Exeter College hosted the 2009 Exeter Adult Learners Fair (right) on the 20th May after
receiving funding from the SWLLN.
The aim of the event was to bring together local universities and colleges in order to raise
awareness of progression into Higher Education for full and part time learners.
The event was open to all current Exeter College students as well as members of the public.
Owing to the event being held in the evening it was estimated that over 400 people were able to
attend including adult and vocational learners. Those who came were able to get information,
advice and guidance from advisers from the University of Plymouth, the University of Exeter,
The Open University, Exeter College and Bicton College as well as Aimhigher and Nextstep.
One attendee fed back that, “The most useful thing at the event was having various providers in
Staff from all faculties of Exeter College were also on hand to provide information about specific
subject progression routes as well as specialist
support in Basic skills assessments, English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL)
and Student Support Services. Sam Smith of Exeter College, who helped organise the event
“SWLLN provided guidance and support to enable Exeter College to make a successful bid for
funding to deliver the 2009 Exeter Adult Learning Fair. The event was a real success providing
hundreds of adults from across Exeter and Devon with access to information, advice and
guidance about courses and progression opportunities.”
This new bureau was set up in 2008 to recruit and deploy volunteers in Somerset and works
under contract to the County Council, among others.
For the South West Lifelong Learning Network (SWLLN), a key benefit of engaging with the
Nextstep Volunteer Bureau is the opportunity to channel Higher Education (HE) information into
the voluntary sector, with up to 1000 volunteers being made aware of the opportunities and
benefits of HE.
The Nextstep Volunteer Bureau will also act as a champion for HE information to other voluntary
and community groups in Somerset.
The Nextstep Volunteer Bureau wanted to gain the matrix quality standard for Information
Advice and Guidance (IAG) and applied for funds from the SWLLN in September 08.
This support enabled the Bureau to engage a specialist consultant to work with them on setting
up continuous quality improvement processes and to prepare for matrix accreditation. The
adviser, David Folland, was extremely helpful.
The Volunteer Bureau was visited by the matrix assessor for two days in March and was
awarded the standard. She reported that, “The Bureau demonstrated a commitment to continual
review to identify and implement improvements which benefit volunteers, host organisations,
Learning Power Issue 10 Page 6
Improving IAG at Somerset’s
Nextstep Volunteer Bureau
by Helen Evans
and staff ... I received overwhelmingly positive feedback from volunteers and partners. The
Bureau reflects the spirit of the matrix standard in its endeavour to provide a volunteer driven
and needs- led service.”
Bryan Mitchell, Manager of the Nextstep Volunteer Bureau is very proud of the service and
enthusiastic about the support given by the SWLLN.
Matrix has helped the Nextstep Volunteer Bureau to see that they have been on the ‘right road’
in setting up this service and achieving matrix has enabled them to show their partner
organisations that they are a genuine service.
Bryan told Helen Evans of the SWLLN, that the Nextstep Volunteer Bureau felt that working
towards the standard has helped them to develop learner support for adult volunteers,
recognising that volunteer progression in skills
Staff of the Nextstep Volunteer Bureau including, Manager, Bryan Mitchell (right)
and learning was a vital part of the service they could offer.
It has also helped the Nextstep Volunteer Bureau to focus on improving the information and
advice they give to potential volunteers, and the matrix accreditation procedure helped them to
develop the volunteer three month and yearly review process.
In addition to the support for matrix, the SWLLN is also funding two Bureau staff members to
gain NVQ level 3 in Advice and Guidance. Brian enthused:
”Working with the SWLLN has made a real impact on the quality of our service to volunteers,
the whole team is more aware of the potential for our volunteers to progress into learning.”
For more information about the Nextstep Volunteer Bureau contact: bryanmitchell@
Recently, I went to an event which was, probably, one of the best training days I have ever
‘The ActorFactor’, a group of four performers, acted out a series of short scenes, using situations
that can (and often do) occur whilst working with candidates. These focused on Skills for Life
needs, language differences and ‘difficult’ employers!
Three of the actors played the roles of candidate, assessor and employer and the fourth
facilitated. Halfway through, the action was paused and we were asked to discuss changes in the
assessor’s approach, the candidate’s response and the employer’s behaviour which the actors
used when the action continued.
As the changes were acted out before us, we could assess how effective they might be in ‘real
life’. We had the opportunity to exchange ideas, share best practice and develop our thinking
regarding assessing in difficult situations.
The skill of the actors made this day so different. Two of the scenarios were pre- arranged but the
third used our own ideas. Dialogue was improvised, directions were followed without question
and the actors kept in character all the way through each scene. The scenarios were realistic,
frustrating, poignant and funny.
Terrific ActorFactor Training Day
The third scenario, directed by ourselves and involving a sandwich shop employee, being
assessed for a customer service NVQ, was hilarious. The actor playing ‘Mladin’ kept in character
all the way through, using his limited English in true ‘Fawlty Towers’ style (despite being Polish).
It was an excellent way of showing how, unless the assessor takes time to make themselves
clearly understood, their questions can be misinterpreted, candidates can become confused,
employers can become frustrated and the situation can descend into chaos.
Stuart, an adviser from Dorset Adult Learning, said “The delivery was interesting, thought
provoking and very entertaining. An excellent day!”
I can’t agree with him more. If you ever get the opportunity to attend or run a training day with
‘ActorFactor’, grab it with both hands. It was great.
ActorFactor provides many different services: actors, facilitators, theatre skills, drama,
performance, forum theatre and role play.
For further information about ActorFactor visit www.actorfactor.co.uk call 01626 336166 or email
Learning Power Issue 10 Page 7
by Marian Harrison
Learning Power Issue 10 Page 8
Institution Website Contact Details
Bournemouth University www.bournemouth.ac.uk
T: 01202 524111 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
The University of Exeter www.exeter.ac.uk
T: 01392 264493 E: email@example.com
The University of Plymouth www.plymouth.ac.uk
T: 01752 600600 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arts Institute at Bournemouth www.aib.ac.uk
T: 01202 533 011 E: email@example.com
The Open University in the South
T: 0117 9299641 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
UCP Marjon (University College Plymouth St Mark and St John)
T: 01752 636890 E: email@example.com
University College Falmouth(incorporating Dartington College of Arts)
T: 01326 211077 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bicton College www.bicton.ac.uk
T: 01395 562400 E: email@example.com
Bournemouth and Poole College www.thecollege.co.uk
T: 01202 205 205 E:firstname.lastname@example.org
City College Plymouth www.cityplym.ac.uk
T: 01752 305300 E: email@example.com
Cornwall College www.cornwall.ac.uk
T: 01209 616161 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
East Devon College www.edc.ac.uk
T: 01884 235200 E: email@example.com
Exeter College www.exe-coll.ac.uk
T: 0845 111 6000 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kingston Maurward College www.kmc.ac.uk
T: 01305 215000 E: email@example.com
North Devon College www.ndevon.ac.uk
T: 01271 345291 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Penwith College Part of Truro and Penwith College
T: 01736 335000 E: email@example.com
Plymouth College of Art and Design
T: 01752 203434 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Somerset College of Arts and Technology
T: 01823 366331 E: email@example.com
South Devon College www.southdevon.ac.uk
T: 01803 540540 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Truro College Part of Truro and Penwith College
T: 01872 267000 E: email@example.com
Weymouth College www.weymouth.ac.uk
T: 01305 761100 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wiltshire College Salisbury www.salisbury.ac.uk
T: 01722 344344 E: email@example.com
Yeovil College www.yeovil.ac.uk
T: 01935 423921 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reach Your Potential...
If you are already working, taking a university-level course can increase your chance of promotion and
earning potential. On average those with a higher education qualification earn 50% more than those
without. And those with degrees are more likely to be in work than those without.The South West Lifelong
Learning Network works with the region’s universities, higher education institutions and colleges of further
education. See below for the contact details for our colleges and institutions.