CALAT Advisory Governance Board Terms of Reference DRAFT for discussion and approval
Croydon Adult Learning and Training, (CALAT), a local authority adult learning service provider, is one of the largest adult learning services in the country delivering a wide range of part time provision to nearly 5000 learners a year through direct and partnership delivery.
Courses are offered in 3 main locations, children centres, schools and community venues to support access and reach new learners. Two centres are located in areas with high IMD to reach priority groups.
CALAT is managed as part of the Sustainable Communities, Regeneration & Economic Recovery team within the Planning & Sustainable Regeneration department of the Council. Funding is mainly provided from the Greater London Authority and the Education Skills Funding Agency through the Adult Education Budget (AEB) for accredited courses and Community Learning (CL) grant for non-accredited provision.
To provide an outstanding curriculum which will tackle skills gaps, increase individuals’ earning potential, support economic growth; reduces social isolation, improve health and wellbeing and enable all learners to realise their aspirations and transform their lives.
To enrich the lives of adults of all ages, abilities and backgrounds enabling them to reach their full potential through outstanding learning and education.
To focus on supporting adults to improve their skills for employment, and contribute to their personal and family lives.
Empowering learners is at the heart of everything CALAT does
We promise that we will:
- Provide a diverse range of high quality courses and initiatives which we develop in partnership with local communities, individuals and employers
- Actively engage with individuals, employers, businesses and local communities to help them identify their needs and encourage their participation in learning in order to develop skills and to support individuals to gain employment. Ensure that learning is inclusive and accessible to all
- Target learning for excluded and vulnerable groups and individuals and prioritise funded learning for those most in need
- Assess the individual needs of learners and tailor learning to meet those needs
- Give learners a voice and act on feedback ensuring that learners are satisfied with their experience and achieve their learning objectives
- Ensure that teaching and learning is of the highest quality
- Offer a curriculum that is adaptable and responsive to changing local and national needs, including employment needs
- Provide excellent customer service from courteous and helpful staff in welcoming and comfortable environments
- Develop learners’ skills and knowledge to support them into employment
Objectives of the Advisory Governance Board
The Governance Board provides a formal structure for stakeholders to undertake a joint role, operating within the existing Council governance structure, to oversee the work of the Adult Learning Service and provide collaborative leadership in shaping its direction in order to improve outcomes for learners. The Board does not have a legal status and is not expected to formulate service strategy but will be consulted on local priorities and invited to give views on the future strategic direction of the service.
The Board will:
- Maintain an overview of priorities for adult learning and post-16 provision; delivery and service transformation within the national and regional context
- Make recommendations regarding the service’s strategic aims and objectives based on ESFA, Ofsted, LSP, GLA and Local Authority corporate strategic priorities
- Ensure compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty, under the terms of the Equality Act 2010, and that there is effective practice in ensuring equal access to participation, educational and social inclusion and improvement of standards and outcomes for learners
- Provide support and robust challenge to ensure performance meets targets set in the Business Plan and implement the improvement action plan as a result of the Self-Assessment Review (SAR) and Business Plan
- Provide independent judgment and scrutiny of service provision
- Provide support and guidance to the service to secure additional income to ensure sustainability and growth
- Raise the profile of the Service with internal departments and external organisations with a view to generating new business opportunities
The Advisory Governance Board consists of individuals with a diversity of perspectives and expertise to ensure internal challenge and support. There are clear distinctions between the role of the Governance Board and the operational management of CALAT Staff.
Board membership is for at least one academic year.
Vacancies to the Board will be filled through a short recruitment process as follows
Vacant positions will be advertised, and nominations requested by an agreed deadline.
Nominations will be submitted to the Board for consideration and where there are more than one candidate nomination, short interviews will take place with a panel chaired by the Chair of the Board and at least one other Board member as well as the Head of Service.
Successful nominees will be advised of their appointment in writing.
Independent Chairperson- to be recruited
Cabinet Member for Croydon Council or their deputy
Director of Planning & Sustainable Regeneration Croydon Council
Head of Organisational Development and Learning and development, Croydon Council
Head of Special Education Croydon Council
Partner Representative – CEO of Croydon BID
Partner Representative- Head of Adult Learning, Surrey County Council
Learner Representative – to be appointed
Staff Representative- to be appointed
Head of Service- Employment, Skills & Economic Development
Strategic Services Manager, CALAT
Governance Advisory Board members will undertake learning walks and paired observations of teaching learning and assessment as part of their role to provide confident, strategic leadership and create strong accountability for, and oversight and assurance of educational and financial performance.
Learners from different curriculum areas, as well as electing a representative to the Board each year will also be invited to attend a specific Board meeting to talk about the impact of learning on their life as part of a wider strategic discussion. For example, a discussion about the strategy to support adults with learning disabilities to access work would include discussion with learners at different stages of work readiness as well as a former learner now in employment.
Individual Board members will have responsibility to champion Safeguarding, PREVENT and Equalities & Diversity.
Frequency of meetings
Meetings will take place at least termly, i.e. a minimum of three times a year.
Appendix 1 provides an outline re Learning Walks for Governance Board Members
Appendix 2 is an extract from the Ofsted Education Inspection Framework which is used for judging the effectiveness of leadership and management (as at Nov 2019)
LEARNING WALKS FOR GOVERNANCE BOARD MEMBERS
A learning walk is a focussed visit through learning areas, followed by feedback, reflection and follow up. Board members need to consider how the information gathered will improve student learning. Learning Walks will help Members to:
- Gain a better understanding of the learners’ experience
- Improve their own understanding of teaching, learning and assessment enable them to monitor these more effectively providing challenge to managers
- Contribute to developing a provider wide focus on teaching, learning and assessment and the future learning landscape
- Link with a curriculum area more effectively supporting curriculum managers with self-assessment and quality improvement plans
- Make themselves more accessible to learners and contribute to learner voice feedback
Top Tips for Governors
- Remember Learning Walks are about improving student learning
- Pair with the curriculum manager to provide context and ensure feedback
- Have a focus or theme for your Walk
- Focus on development opportunities
- Keep it short to minimise disruption to learning: 15 minutes is ideal
- Board Members should be involved on a regular basis through the year as part of a planned schedule
Themes for Learning Walks
These will largely be informed through matters arising from observation of teaching, learning and assessment reports, self-assessment reports and quality improvement plans, low satisfaction rates in surveys or any particular issues/concerns that come to the attention of Board Members that would require closer scrutiny.
Examples of learning walk themes undertaken by Board Members include:
- Use of information learning technologies in teaching & learning
- Individual learning plans and progress of learners’ regularly identified
- Facilities and resources which support teaching and learning
- Progression into employment opportunities created in course plans
- Learners awareness of safeguarding and Prevent
- Embedding of communication skills and British values in teaching and learning
- Learners are aware of their rights and responsibilities in creating a safe and productive learning environment for all
Learning Walk Protocol – Guidance for CALAT Board Members
Each visit to a ‘lesson’ will be no more than 15 – 20 minutes in duration. Forms to help you record notes from each visit are provided after these guidance notes. You may find it helpful to jot down a few points during each visit. Normally Board Members will visit a lesson in pairs and/or accompanied by a CALAT manager.
When entering the classroom, workshop or studio please introduce yourself to the tutor and students at the first convenient opportunity and briefly explain the purpose of your visit. Tutors should have been briefed about the learning walks prior to your visit.
If the lesson is being held in a classroom setting, you may initially wish to find a seat which allows you to see both the tutor and the students, e.g. at the side of the room rather than at the back. When appropriate to do so, you may wish to move around the room to see the work being done by students. If the setting is a workshop or studio you may wish to walk around to see what activities students are engaged in and the methods used by the tutor to support them and help them to make progress. In either setting, should it be convenient to do so, please talk to students about why they have enrolled for the course and what they hope to achieve.
You may wish to make a few notes on the accompanying form about the methods used by the tutor to promote learning (teaching activities) and the learning activities being undertaken by students. For example:
- Is the tutor giving a lecture or a talk to the whole group?
- Is the lesson arranged so that students are working individually or in small groups with the tutor supporting each group or individual as required?
- Have handouts and/or text books been issued to students?
- Is the tutor using a ‘smart board’ or other teaching/learning aids such as a computer, the internet, handouts, text books etc.?
- Is the tutor providing a demonstration?
- How does the tutor engage students in the lesson and help them to make progress? (For example through questioning, encouragement, types of learning activities deployed etc.)
- How does the tutor check on (or assess) students’ understanding?
- How does the tutor give feedback to students about the progress they are making?
- How are students learning? (For example: by taking notes; through class/group discussion; by working through example exercises; by developing practical skills through practice tasks; by asking and answering oral questions; by doing research; by watching and participating in demonstrations; by working on assignments/projects; by helping other students etc.)
- Was this a safe learning environment, conducive to adult learning?
- How well did the tutor reflect equality and diversity in materials and examples used?
- Did you notice evidence that there was embedding employability, subject specific English/maths, British values, and ICT in the lesson?
The above examples are not by any means an exhaustive list and are simply given to help stimulate your thinking during your initial visits if needed.
Before leaving the room please thank the tutor and students for their help during your visit.
Outcomes from the learning walk:
After completing your learning walk, please raise any questions you may have arising from your visits with your paired manager from the service.
You are not expected to provide feedback to tutors or students, but please treat what you have seen as confidential to the service. Please forward any notes and completed forms to Sidra Hill-Reid (Strategic Service Manager) and you will be asked to give a brief feedback to the Governance Board at the next Board meeting.
CROYDON ADULT LEARNING – LEARNING WALK NOTES FOR GOVERNANCE BOARD MEMBERS
Teaching and Learning (and any Assessment) activities seen during the visit:
Questions arising from the visit:
Observer’s Name: ___________________________
Observer’s Signature: ________________________
The Ofsted Education Inspection Framework – relevant extract from the criteria for judging the effectiveness of leadership and management (as at September 2019)
Leadership and management
Inspectors will look at the work of principals, chief executives, senior leaders, subject leaders and others with leadership and management roles when reaching this judgement.
This judgement is about how leaders, managers and those responsible for governance ensure that the education and training delivered by the provider have a positive impact on all learners, including those with SEND and those who have high needs. It focuses on the areas in which inspection evidence and research show that leaders and managers can have the strongest impact on the quality of education and training provided. Important factors include:
- leaders’ high expectations of all learners and the extent to which these are embodied in day-to-day interactions with and support for learners
- the extent to which leaders focus their attention on the education and training they provide, leading to better outcomes for learners and continued and sustainable improvement
- whether continuing professional development for teachers, trainers and other staff is aligned with the curriculum, and the extent to which this develops teachers’ subject expertise and pedagogical knowledge over time, so that they deliver high-quality education and training
- the extent to which leaders ensure that learners benefit from effective teaching and high expectations in classrooms, in workshops, at work or with subcontractors
- whether leaders engage with learners, parents, their community and employers to plan and support the education and training that learners get
- the extent to which leaders consider the workload and well-being of their staff, while also developing and strengthening the quality of the workforce
- the extent to which leaders’ and managers’ high ambitions are for all learners, including those who are difficult to engage
- whether leaders and those responsible for governance understand their respective roles and carry these out to enhance the effectiveness of the provider.
Inspectors should consider whether those responsible for governance:
- know the provider and understand its strengths and weaknesses
- support and strengthen the provider’s leadership and contribute to shaping its strategic direction
- ensure that the provider meets its statutory responsibilities
- provide challenge and hold senior leaders and managers to account for improving the quality of learning and the effectiveness of performance management systems.
Specifically with regard to Governance:
Inspectors will satisfy themselves that those responsible for governance understand their responsibilities and are ensuring that these are carried out appropriately within the provider. They are not expected to review a list of duties with inspectors.
An outstanding provider demonstrates the following
- Leaders have a clear and ambitious vision for providing high-quality, inclusive education and training to all. This is realised through strong, shared values, policies and practice.
- Leaders focus on improving teachers’ subject and teaching knowledge to enhance the teaching of the curriculum and the appropriate use of assessment. The practice and subject knowledge and up-to-date vocational expertise of staff build and improve over time.
- Leaders ensure that all learners, including those with SEND and high needs, and disadvantaged learners, get the information, advice, guidance and support to achieve their next steps and progress to positive destinations. Leaders provide the support for staff to make this possible.
- Leaders engage effectively with their community, including, where relevant, with parents/carers, employers, local services and organisations responsible for local and regional economic planning.
- Leaders engage with their staff and are aware and take account of the main pressures on them. They are realistic and constructive in the way they manage staff, including their workload
- Those responsible for governance understand their role and carry this out effectively. They ensure that the provider has a clear vision and strategy and that resources are managed well. They hold leaders to account for the quality of education and training and help to ensure continuous and sustainable improvement.
- Those responsible for governance ensure that the provider fulfils its legal duties and responsibilities. These include, for example, those under the Equality Act 2010, and those in relation to the ‘Prevent’ strategy and safeguarding.
- Leaders protect staff from harassment, bullying and discrimination.
- The provider has an effective culture of safeguarding that enables staff to: identify, help and protect learners who may need early help or who are at risk of neglect, abuse, grooming, exploitation, radicalisation or extremism; help learners to reduce their risk of harm by securing the support they need, or referring in a timely way to those who have the expertise to help; and manage safe recruitment and allegations about adults and learners who may be a risk to other learners and vulnerable adults.
These are the standards expected of a GOOD provider:
To be considered outstanding the provider needs to satisfy all of above criteria securely and consistently, the leadership and management are exceptional and:
- Leaders ensure that teachers receive focused and highly effective professional development. Teachers’ subject, vocational, technical, pedagogical and pedagogical content knowledge builds and develops consistently over time and improves the quality of education provided to learners.
- Leaders’ engagement with learners, employers, parents and the local community/economy is very effective. They provide clear and direct evidence of the positive impact of how this engagement benefits learners and ensures continuous and sustainable improvement.
- Leaders ensure that regular, frequent and meaningful engagement takes place with staff at all levels, so that they can be confident that issues will be identified. When issues are identified – in particular about workload – leaders deal with them consistently, appropriately and quickly.
- Staff consistently report high levels of support for well-being issues.