About us | Kent Adult Education

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About us

Kent Adult Education provides an extensive programme of courses aiming to meet the varied needs and interests of Kent communities. This summary sets out the ways in which Kent Adult Education will deliver learning opportunities to fulfil the purpose and objectives described by the Government in New Challenges, New Chances and confirmed in Skills Funding Agency Funding Rules.

Kent Adult Education will provide a programme of courses based on District Council areas which will:

  • 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 impact of community learning on the social and economic well-being of individuals, families and communities

These local programmes will support the core aims of Kent County Council set out in “Bold Steps for Kent” - to help the Kent economy grow, to put the citizen in control and to tackle disadvantage. Programmes will contribute to key public policy priorities in areas such as Health and Wellbeing, support for families, volunteering, community resilience and employment.

Kent Adult Education will work with local communities across the KCC area to provide a vibrant, diverse and challenging range of learning opportunities accessible to as many adults as possible in terms of location, timing and price.

The programme in each District area will comprise a number of elements planned in balance to meet local needs.

All elements will be designed to ensure:

  • High quality learning experience for all learners in all locations across all subjects
  • A high quality programme relevant to local interests

And priorities based on

  • High quality local partnerships from all sectors
  • High quality local research, consultation/feedback

And delivered by

  • Subject experts with appropriate teaching skills
  • Directly employed by Kent Adult Education
  • Commissioned from specialist providers

Supported by:

  • Government grant (Community Budget)
  • Appropriate fee income from those who can afford to pay
  • Additional funding from partners and initiatives to support their customers and key outcomes

And linking with opportunities funded from Adult Skills Budget.

Kent Adult Education will extend the range of courses available to the community by providing a fee-based marketing/recruiting service for other specialist providers.

All courses will contribute to the Objectives defined in New Challenges, New Chances:

  • Focusing public funds on people who are disadvantaged and least likely to participate
  • Collecting fee income from those who can afford to pay and using where possible to extend provision to those who cannot
  • Widening participation and transforming people’s destinies by supporting progression relevant to personal circumstances eg
  • Increasing confidence and willingness to learn
  • Acquiring skills preparing for training, employment, self-employment
  • Improving digital, financial literacy and communication skills
  • Improving skills as parents/carers and ability to support children’s learning
  • Improving health and well-being
  • Developing stronger communities with more self-sufficient, connected and pro-active citizens

Kent Adult Education will provide:

A universal programme of courses

  • Based on market research amongst existing learners and non-learners, feedback from learners and the wider community.
  • Reflecting local opportunities and concerns
  • Achieving customer satisfaction, targeted learning outcomes, maintenance and improvement in health and well being and contributing to social cohesion

Generating fee income from those who can afford to pay and maximising access by appropriate marketing, creative shaping of the programme, fee structure and direct financial support

A premium course offer

  • Where fee contribution covers the full direct and indirect cost of delivery.

A targeted responsive offer

  • Based on research through partnership and community networking
  • To extend accessibility of opportunities offered through the universal programme to locally disadvantaged communities
  • Shaped in response to identified issues - transport, cost, flexibility
  • Offering skills in informal Clubs and Societies
  • Charges/fees reflect local circumstances
  • Outcomes include participation in learning, progression to further learning, improvement in wellbeing, community engagement

Useful documents

We want you to get the best from your course. This information may help.

Family Programmes

  • Designed to build parent confidence and skills better to support children's learning and enjoy family life targeted in areas of social-economic disadvantage and for parents who have had a previously poor experience of formal learning
  • Delivered in partnership with community-based organisations who act as trusted intermediaries with families
  • Provide information and insight into communities with most to gain
  • Link to other publicly funded initiatives and strategies to add value to public investment
  • All courses are free to participants
  • Outcomes include skills acquisition, accreditation and direct learning outcomes which may support employment and focused volunteering; confidence, wellbeing, family aspiration, positive family role modelling, improved engagement with public agencies
  • The Family Programme infrastructure can also support courses for families in less disadvantaged communities where an agency or families themselves contribute to the cost of their courses.
See more about Family Programmes


  • Supporting organisations from the Voluntary and Community sector to deliver high quality learning
  • Targeting people from disadvantaged communities in specific geographical areas who are low-waged and unwaged
  • To help them make appropriate personal progression towards further learning, volunteering and paid employment
  • This programme provides courses identified through local community networking specifically to support opportunities for learning,
  • Employment and volunteering which are available locally and including opportunities for self-employment.
See more details about Response

Pound Plus Policy


Pound Plus refers to the added value through additional income and savings generated by learning providers over and above the Government's Community Learning budget (part of the Adult Education Budget). Community Learning and Skills (CLS) receives an annual contract from the Education and Skills Funding Agency which allows CLS to subsidise its Adult Education provision.

This contract is only considered as a contribution to the overall costs of delivering the programme and it is therefore expected that CLS adds value to this funding. CLS aspires to achieve this by attracting additional income, finding efficiencies and then reinvesting to widen the offer to those who cannot afford to pay and by targeting specific disadvantaged groups or communities.
The aim of Community Learning and Skills is to maximise the value of this public funding and secure tuition fee income and other contributions to enable it to deliver a high-quality community learning programme that meets the needs of Kent’s individuals, families and communities.

CLS will recover added value by:
• Charging a realistic contribution to delivery costs through a tuition fee to learners on Adult Education courses
• Charging fees for costs of additional materials learners on higher cost Adult Education courses
• Charging fees for the costs of art and craft materials/products to learners on higher cost creative Adult Education courses
• Recovering income by hiring out rooms in core buildings where they are not being utilised for courses
• Making savings as contribution in kind such as waiving of external room hire costs from partner organisations
• Making savings by working with volunteers to support the delivery of education

CLS’ key priorities include maximising the impact of adult and community learning on the social and economic well-being of individuals, families and communities by focussing public funding on people who are disadvantaged and furthest from learning, including in rural areas and people on low incomes with low skills. CLS also seeks to widen participation and transform people’s destinies by supporting progression relevant to personal circumstances. CLS aims to achieve these goals by reinvesting this added value by:

  • Offering concessions (fee reductions) to learners deemed to be either financially/socially disadvantaged or from priority groups
  • Maintaining an access/bursary fund to assist those learners that would still have a financial barrier to attend adult education courses following concession reductions or those that are on low income and are not eligible for a concession
  • Delivering targeted provision at priority disadvantaged groups such as the unemployed, those in low-paid work or with those with low skills
  • Delivering specific programmes to meet local community and Kent County Council policy need such as unaccompanied asylum-seeking children programme and Vulnerable Syrian refuges
  • Funding additional arising projects at cost which do not attract direct funding yet further our strategic aims

Contact us if you have any enquiries about KAE and its services

Working with CLS

Subcontracting policy

CLS Website