Community based learning is a good option if other learning environments don’t meet someone’s needs.
College or university may not be right for many reasons. Here are a few:
- There may not be a course that interests them
- They may have the right academic qualifications but need longer to develop the social skills and personal independence to manage college life
- Their qualifications may not be at a level that matches their ability
Community learning can help with all of these.
Most opportunities are provided by local councils or voluntary organisations and charities, in venues like libraries or community centres.
People may work on their own, with a tutor or with people from the local community. Courses can be very flexible and may include evening or weekend classes, or even tutorials in someone’s own home.
Choosing a course
The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework places qualifications into levels from 1 to 12, to give an idea of the demands involved. It helps learners see what previous qualifications are worth, and what they may be able to do next.
Informal learning doesn’t usually lead to a qualification. It might include:
- Support to improve self-confidence;
- Developing interpersonal skills, communication skills, or citizenship;
- Support to access other learning opportunities or employment, e.g. volunteering;
- Learning new skills or brushing up existing ones, e.g. reading, writing, or using a computer.
Formal learning usually leads to a qualification. It might include:
- Core skills, which employers identify as essential for learning and work (including communication, numeracy, information and communications technology, working with others and problem solving);
- Further education courses, including those that count towards further qualifications or work;
- Short courses on particular interests;
- Access courses for learners with additional support needs, including independent living and other core skills;
- Customised awards designed by learning providers to meet specific needs.
Your local council should be able to tell you the learning opportunities available in your area. You can also look at the Learning Database on the website My World of Work or call Lead Scotland on 0800 999 2568.
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