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Section 2. Organising and managing flexible delivery

Changes may be required

Developing flexible learning opportunities may require changes to existing ways of working including:

  • staff contracts, timetables and contact time;
  • equipment and resources being made available to staff and learners – ICT, internet connection, phones, work email etc.;
  • accommodation, equipment and resources for off-site delivery;
  • audit trails;
  • quality assurance.

Making the necessary changes is likely to require senior management understanding and support.

Essex Adult and Community Learning, Leicestershire Adult Learning Service and J & K Training share how they have organised their flexible delivery in these case studies.

Funding

Understanding and making best use of the funding available for flexible and blended learning programmes is a challenge for many providers.  These two resources from the Skills for Life Improvement Programme ‘Flexible Models’ project can help.

Funding Flexibility in Skills for Life Programmes – a sustainable approach
This explores approaches to funding flexible attendance and blended learning using different funding streams.

Modelling flexible delivery
This spreadsheet calculates the viability of different models, the amount of 1:1 support available to learners and a learner ‘case load’ for staff.

These documents do not replace official funding guidance from the Skills Funding Agency.

The Move On E-Tutor Guide has information and reflective activities relevant to many aspects of e-learning, including: management information and audit trail; staff roles and ways of working; and ICT readiness. See Making the most of the Move On E-Tutor Guide to help you find your way around.

Top tips from providers

Our 'top tip' would be gain buy-in from the whole organisation, especially senior management. Flexible delivery does not fit into ‘normal’ funding models and everyone needs to appreciate the benefits to the organisation.'

Norfolk Adult Education Service

Make sure all relevant parts of the college are signed up to the new models e.g. IT, MIS... It’ll take time to develop any distance learning element and then it'll take time to refine – don't expect it to work first time.

Ludlow College

Good solid ground rules and an informative and motivating induction process are essential for blended learning, particularly the remote aspects.

West Suffolk College