Community Learning Fund FAQ

FAQ from briefing sessions for Luton Community Learning Fund 2017-2018

The most important thing to do is

read the prospectus carefully.


Q1          Can we include in our bid a teacher who currently has no teaching qualification?

A1          From prospectus:

All activity must be delivered or supported by trained and qualified teaching staff who hold a minimum level 3 qualification or staff with relevant experience. Where experienced staff are unqualified, support will be provided to enable individuals to gain the Level 3 Award in Education and Training.

Q2          As a charity we are planning to apply for funding to support the creation of a new post in our Supported Accommodation project in Luton for people who are or, are at risk of, homelessness.

A2          From the prospectus:

The Community Learning Fund is designed to support community based (often informal) learning delivered by VCS and other third sector and not for profit organisations. This funding supports organisations to develop their capacity to deliver learning opportunities to individuals from disadvantaged and deprived communities.

What are the Criteria?

All projects funded must:

The fund is designed to deliver learning to disadvantaged and deprived communities, not to fund new posts within an organisation.


Q3          Principally, what I want to know is whether our bid would be ruled out by the statement in the Prospectus saying that The Community Learning Fund will not support ‘vendor specific provision which is linked to a particular employer or commercial system’? Whilst the courses/activities would be open to our residents at our supported accommodation project in Luton, supporting them to gain the skills to break the cycle of homelessness, it will also be open to people outside of YMCA Bedfordshire who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to support them to achieve the same outcomes. Therefore would it be considered not Vendor specific?

A3          "Vendor specific training" excludes training which is non-transferable ie training to use a particular system/item of machinery which is only used by a certain employer or is specific to obtaining employment with a specific employer. This type of training would be CPD and should be paid for by the employer.  If you are planning generic courses they should fit within the parameters of the bid.


Q4          Can we accept learners from outside of Luton but with a LU postcode?

A4          No – all learners MUST be from Borough of Luton. Not Dunstable, Houghton Regis etc


Q5          Is it possible to submit 2 bids for 2 separate courses?

A5          No – from the prospectus “Organisations can only submit one tender as a lead body but can be part of other applications in a partner capacity”


Q6          What is the minimum duration?

A6          On average courses can range from 2 hours of learning to 30 hours of learning – but this is not prescriptive.


Q7          How many tutors can we have on the course?

A7          You can have as many tutors as you like, as long as they fit the criteria for teaching staff.


Q8          What are the start dates and end dates?


Wednesday 4th October 2017 (9.10am – 1pm)

Mandatory tutor training to take place.  (See page 9 & 10 of the prospectus for more details)

w/c 16th October 2017

Activity can begin (if training has been attended)

First Project Steering Group to take place.

31st July 2018

All Community Learning Fund activity complete for 2017/18

Projects can start at any point on or after the 16th October and run for part or all of the period up until the end of July 2018 but all activity must be completed by 31st July 2018.



Q9          What are the courses likely to be funded?

A9           There is no set type of course that will be funded.

From the prospectus:


The fund is seeking to support project activities that deliver learning to transform people’s destinies by supporting progression relevant to personal circumstances, for example learning designed to:

Activity might also include the development of stronger communities and active citizenship, for example, learning designed:

Note: The above examples are not exhaustive and do not indicate preference for a specific type of activity.


Q10        How many learners do you wish to be trained?

A10        There is no minimum number of learners that a project must engage with, but you must provide value for money.


Q11        Can we apply for funding for a Level 2 Food Hygiene certificate?

A11        We would not exclude this, as long as the learners fit the criteria; from the prospectus:

Participant Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in your project all learners engaged must:


Projects must be designed to support hard to reach and disadvantaged groups and as such it is expected that the learners will be unemployed, economically inactive or in receipt of Universal Credit / other benefits to support a part-time minimum wage income, up to 16 hours a week.

Any individuals employed for 16 or more hours a week and not in receipt of benefits will not qualify for full funding. Such individuals are not excluded from participating however providers will only be able to claim 25% of the agreed cost per learner for these individuals. Providers will need to share their fee policy with such learners, prior to their enrolment, making it clear how the non-funded 75% of the cost per learner will be covered.


Q12        Can we run one-2-one sessions as part of our course?

A12        Yes you can, as long as your project provides value for money and there is an identified need for One-2-One sessions.


Q13        Can we get funding from Luton and Central Beds for the same project?

A13        No – this would be double funding and is not allowed. You may be able to obtain funding from different organisations for similar projects being run in different areas with different learners attending the courses.


Q14        Can we include Maths and English within course?

A14        Yes you can, in fact, in your application you must demonstrate how you will embed maths, English, ICT and British Core Values into your lessons.


Q15        What are the maximum costs per learner?

A15       You must demonstrate value for money. A rough guide has been provided in the application form, stating that costs of £8-£12 per hour are anticipated.


Q16        Will you fund travel for learners?

A16        Any funding required for any part of the project must be included in the bid costs. There would be no additional funding for travel /materials etc for learners. You can incorporate these costs into your project bid, as long as this keeps the costs within the suggested guideline. Remember projects must represent value for money.


Q17        Can we handwrite the application?

A17        No bids must be typed and submitted by email.


Q18        What courses does LAL deliver?

A18        LAL deliver a wide range of courses some of which can be found on our website There are other providers in the area which also offer a wide range of courses.


Q19        If all the funding is not used what happens?

A19        If all of the available funding is not allocated in this bid application process, it is possible that another round of bid applications will be announced in January. However it is more likely that the funding would be used to fund other courses delivered directly by LAL.


Q20        If a learner withdraws because they have gained employment will we still be funded?

A20        It depends on how you wrote your bid, learners must attend at least 80% of the sessions and achieve 100% of the course outcomes. If one of the outcomes was to obtain employment, they might still meet the criteria.


Q21        How do you know how many hours they work if they are self-employed?

A21        The learners have to sign the enrolment form. You do not need to ask how many hours they work


Q22        Do I need to turn up to the mandatory training – what if I have a prior commitment?

A22        Yes you do need to turn up to the mandatory training; we suggest that the project manager and any staff who will be teaching on the course attend the training. If you have a prior commitment which cannot be changed, you will need to send other members of staff from your organisation.


Q23        What does IAG /progression mean?

A23        Giving the learners advice on what they can progress to next, where they can get further help and advice.


Q24        How many projects will you be funding?

A24        There is not a set number of projects that we will be funding, we have a fixed amount of money to use and will support as many projects as we can.


Q25        Are EU migrants eligible to receive funding/learning?

A25        Learners must have been resident in the UK/EU/EEA for a minimum of 3 years to be entitled to funding


Q26        Can we enhance our bid by pairing with another organisation or group?

A26        From the prospectus: Organisations can only submit one tender as a lead body but can be part of other applications in a partner capacity


Q27        Can we apply for funding to train our volunteers?

A27        Please see the answer to question 3 and 9. You cannot apply for funding for something which would be considered staff CPD.


Q28        What is adult Learning?

A28        Any learning for learners over the age of 19.


Q29        Will students get any certificates/reward at the end? (It may encourage them to finish all of the workshops)

A29        You will be running the course and it is your decision whether you give the learners any certificates at the end of the course.


Q30        In the past we have struggled to get all of our learners through the all of the modules in our course, how can we find a solution?

A30        You need to consider ways to change your delivery for example. Shorter courses or better IAG at the start in order to ensure the learners are committed to the course. You must consider this prior to submitting your bid. Once bids are successful we will support you as much as we can.


Q31        Can University student take part as learners?

A31        No we could not fund university students, however they could take part in the class.

Q32       Can you have a mixed class of funded and non-funded learners? 

A32        Yes


Q33        Would you consider blended learning?

A33        Blended learning would not be excluded.

Q34        Do primary/secondary school teachers count as qualified teachers for the project?

A34        Yes as long as they have a PGCE or Cert.Ed, then they are a qualified teacher and can teach in adult education.


Q35        If learners work and volunteer in Luton, but live elsewhere, can they still be funded?

A35        No – learners must live in Luton.


Q36        How do we receive the funding?

A36        Funding is paid once learners have enrolled, attended and achieved the stated outcomes of the course.



The application form has a word count for some questions:

Do not exceed the word count

Don’t write too little – you will need to reach the word count in order to give enough detail.

Clearly demonstrate how learning will be delivered.

Read the Prospectus