Adult Community Learning

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Camden Adult Community Learning Service (Camden ACL)

Camden Council is a central London Local Authority. Camden Adult Community Learning provision is funded by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) through Community Learning and Adult Skills Budget (ASB) funding.


Strategic vision and mission statement

The Service contributes to the following strategic aims of the Camden Plan (2012–17):

  • Developing new solutions with partners to reduce inequality
    • Tackling health inequalities between those who live in Camden's wealthiest areas versus those who live in the most deprived areas
    • Ensuring Camden is a place where everyone has a chance to succeed and no one is left behind
    • Ensuring all children have the best start in life 
    • Creating accessible pathways to education, employment and training targeted at families with children in poverty
  • Investing in our communities to ensure sustainable neighbourhoods
    • Supporting communities to help themselves and each other, making best use of the community assets that exist across the borough
    • Working closely with local communities so that provision meets local needs
  • Creating the conditions for and harnessing the benefits of economic growth

Our mission is to:

Encourage and support adults to make their first steps back into learning and so become more active economically, in their families and communities, and maintain better health.

We aim to bring together adults, often of different ages and backgrounds, by helping them to pursue an interest, address a need, gain a new skill, become healthier, or learn how to better support their children.

In line with the objectives for community learning outlined in New Challenges, New Chances (BIS, 2011), our programmes aim to:

  • maximise access to community learning for adults, bringing new opportunities and improving lives, whatever people’s circumstances
  • promote social renewal by bringing local communities together to experience the joy of learning and the pride that comes with achievement
  • maximise the effect community learning has on the social and economic well-being of individuals, families and communities
  • widen participation and transform people’s destinies by supporting progression relevant to personal circumstances
  • develop stronger communities with more self-sufficient, connected and pro-active citizens

The range and nature of the provision

Our courses target:

  • Adults 19+:
    • with low skills
    • with low skills facing barriers due to age, disability, or learning difficulties 
    • with low skills, low incomes and least likely to participate in adult education 
    • with low skills who are seeking employment
  • Parents with low skills and low income whose children are at risk of underachieving

We provide learning opportunities in a wide variety of community venues focused on deprived areas where we can make a difference for adults and their families. The voluntary and community groups, libraries, prisons, schools and children centres that provide the locations for the learning programmes, support and enable us to meet our target groups.

Curriculum areas include:

  • ICT/digital inclusion
  • English and maths
  • Family learning: Family English, Maths and Language (FEML) & Wider Family Learning (WFL)
  • Health and well-being
  • Employability; job seeking
  • Creative and performing arts
  • Modern foreign languages
  • Active citizenship

The specific course offer is adapted each term to meet emerging needs identified by learners, local stakeholders, delivery partners, other teams within the Council or to meet needs arising from national drivers such as changes to the benefit system.