Community learning: government funding

What further education providers funded to provide a range of community-based learning need to do to receive their funding.


  1. Documents

Community learning includes a range of community-based and outreach learning opportunities. These are primarily provided by local authorities and further education colleges (further education providers).

Community learning is designed to help people of different ages and backgrounds:

  • get a new skill
  • reconnect with learning
  • follow an interest
  • prepare to progress to formal courses
  • learn how to support their children better

It supports wider government policies on localism, social justice, stronger families, digital inclusion and social mobility.

Community learning 2013 to 2014

We will continue to offer a contribution to the overall cost of delivering community learning. Providers are expected to add value to this public contribution by attracting additional income and making cost savings.

Providers should ensure they reach at least as many learners in 2013 to 2014 as in the previous academic year, and where possible, exceed this number.

Learners must be recorded on the Individualised Learner Record (ILR), which must be returned according to the ILR returns timetable.

For further information please refer to the community learning section in the funding rules.

There is also information on the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) community learning reform website.

For further information or related queries, please contact your SFA Central Delivery Service adviser.

Evaluation of community learning pilots: summary of key findings

Evaluation of community learning trust pilots: summary of key findings presents findings from an evaluation of 15 community learning trust pilots set up by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The community learning trust pilots were set up to test new ways of planning and delivering community learning, and understand whether these had the potential to effectively deliver new community learning objectives. The pilots were run between August 2012 and July 2013 and involved more local development of community learning offers, with local people, organisations and providers working together to:

  • shape their own community learning priorities
  • develop local strategies and partnership structures to deliver these
  • ultimately, tailor community learning provision to meet the needs of their communities


  1. Community learning: 2014 to 2015 learning aims catalogue

    • Guidance
  2. Community learning: presentation

    • Guidance