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Extended Learning Support

We are undertaking an evaluation process to understand how the sector is currently meeting the additional needs of their students and the impact that support has. 

Widening access

The triggers for the evaluation were:

  • The separation of extended learning support from a college regions main teaching funding to support their credit targets
  • The Outcome Agreement approach and a shift towards outcomes and impact
  • A need to evidence these outcomes and impacts better in relation to meeting the additional educational needs of students in our Outcome Agreement approach
  • A need to understand the impact of the funding used to support the additional educational needs of students in relation to their contribution to existing outcomes such as increasing the proportion of students from the 10% most deprived areas
  • A need to be able to demonstrate the impact of the now separately allocated Extended Learning Support fund at a national level.

The objective of the project is to investigate how extended learning support funds can be used most effectively across the sector, identify the impact and outcomes achieved by funds allocated to college regions to meet the additional needs of students, identify and share good practice and different approaches, identify if we could achieve more for students and/or if we need to do things differently, and consider the consistency of approaches across the sector.

To achieve this objective, the project will:

  • Set up a practitioner group
  • Seek out academic perspectives on good practice and undertake a literature review
  • Meet with all of the colleges, including senior management and ELS staff, to ascertain ELS provision at each of the colleges 
  • Undertake a stakeholder engagement plan to ascertain the views and input from Education Scotland, NUS and others
  • Utilise the authentic student voice and ensure students are represented in this review
  • Develop an implementation plan with recommendations for our AY 2017-18 Outcome Agreement Guidance, Credit Guidance and Audit Guidance
  • Report the outcomes of this review, stakeholder engagement plan and implementation plan to the College Principals Group and the Colleges Scotland Funding Sub-Group
  • Undertake a full Equality Impact Assessment.

We have published a Review of Extended Learning Support and will be organising an event to discuss the findings of the review and to share practice and approaches. Recommendations from this review will be included for Outcome Agreement Guidance in AY 2017-18.