WANDSWORTH COUNCIL – LIFELONG LEARNING SERVICE, London, UK
Wandsworth is the largest of the inner London boroughs, covering an area of 34km2. It is largely residential, though has some dense areas of employment with many different types of housing from prosperous Putney to the inner-city estates in north Battersea. Wandsworth’s population is 282,000 with nearly half the population aged between 20 and 39, above the London average, while the numbers of residents who are aged 0-14yrs or 65+ are both below the London average. The pattern of young single adults moving to the borough suggests that Wandsworth has a mobile population. House prices are among the highest in the capital.
Although unemployment has increased significantly (+54%) over the last year, the overall rate for JSA claimants in Wandsworth at 4.1% is below that for London (6.1%) and of Great Britain (5.5%) as a whole. The largest overall claimant rates are in Latchmere and Roehampton with the largest increases in the JSA rate in the East Putney, Nightingale, Shaftsbury and Thamesfield. People aged 50+ and people with degrees are in a worse position than at the same time last year.
Despite the recession, people in Wandsworth are overall better off than the average in London and England although there are inequalities across the borough with pockets of deprivation in areas of Roehampton, Battersea and Tooting. The borough is ranked 144 out of the 354 local authorities in the 2007 English Indices of Deprivation. Wandsworth’s BME community represents one-third of its total population (including 'white other' and 'white Irish'), which is lower than the London average of 42%. The largest ethnic group is White Other (11%), Black Caribbean (4%), Indian (3%), Black African (3%).13.7% of the economically active population are people with disabilities. In 2007, as a proportion of the older working-age population, (45-54 and 55-64), Wandsworth’s had 10.9% and 12.45% respectively claiming invalidity benefit and both these percentages exceed those of London (10.4%, 11.7%) and England (9.1%, 11.1%).
Wandsworth has the highest proportion of residents with degree level qualifications in the country. Employment in knowledge-driven sectors in Wandsworth accounted for 23% of total employment in 2005, ranking the borough 20th among the London boroughs. 32% of workplace-based employment is in public services, above both London and national averages. Despite high levels of productivity and economic growth, Wandsworth records a low employment rate of 69.5 % in 2006, just below the EU Lisbon Strategy target of 70%.
Wandsworth Council Lifelong Learning (WCLL) is the department of Wandsworth Council, a local public authority in central London , responsible for lifelong and liberal adult learning. WCLL works with c.11,500 adult and family learners each year, managing a network of providers of colleges, schools and community agencies with one of the highest participation rates of adult and family learners in the region. WCLL's Family Learning (FL) programme involves over 2500 adults and children in informal and accredited learning. The WCLL team is also responsible for the Council's Parenting programme and Family Intervention Project. In May 2010, the service was awarded an overall Grade 2 (Good) by Ofsted, the UK ’s national education inspection body, with a Grade 1 (outstanding) for the quality of its family learning programme, partnership development and value for money.
WCLL’s aims are to increase the participation in lifelong learning of those groups who are currently under-represented in learning: for example, people with disabilities, people living in areas of deprivation, lone parents, people with low level qualifications, black and minority ethnic/migrant groups.
Reasons for joining the project:
WCLL is also responsible for the Council’s Parenting Programme, Family Learning Programme and Family Intervention Project and is very interested in working with other partners to identify and share good practice around working with Early Years (children 0-5) projects. Our recent Family Intervention Project has demonstrated that taking a ‘whole family approach’ to working with families who are risk of social exclusion can be very effective, particularly in ensuring that children are equipped to take part in education. WCLL works very closely with the Council’s Early Years Team, Looked After Children and Teenage Pregnancy projects.
We are one of the largest lifelong learning providers in London and the South and well placed to disseminate the project locally and nationally. For example, WCLL is a member of the UK Association of Local Government (ALG) and Local Education Authorities Forum for the Education of Adults network (LEAFEA). It runs vocational training and employment programmes (eg Apprenticeships) and has excellent links with local industry. WCLL is an experienced mainstream ESF manager since 2003 and a partner in the Educaemprende LEONARDO project, completed in November 2010. The Council’s Economic Development Office is currently a partner on the PROGRESS ‘Go Green’ project.
We´ll lead the WP number 7, because of our experience and basis as a local authority and knowledge, with the possibility of spreading more resources, and getting more contacts and good practices from other local authorities and educative institutions from Europe, besides the inclusion of experts and staff specifically dealing with European cooperation and management of information in several countries, and with success in the compilation of works at European level. IN fact, we are a local authority working in the field of lifelong and family learning, with a close working relationship with early years learning, although we don not directly deliver early years learning.
We also collaborate on the dissemination and awareness tasks, the identification of good practices and provide the comparative data about its country, as the other partners. It closely collaborates with the web page, in the identification of digital documentation and updating of any news. Thanks to its geographic closeness to partner number 9, it will support them and unify all data researched, so that their results can offer a wide perspective of the situation of disadvantage children 0-6 years in the UK.