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All you need to know about

Stafford Learning Town

DEVELOPMENT PLAN / JAN 2022- DEC 2022
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GOVERNANCE GROUP Authored by: Trevor Humphreys

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LAUNCH EVENT THU 20 JAN 2022 6 – 8pm

Gatehouse Theatre, Eastgate Street, Stafford ST16 2JZ

Initial Development Plan: Jan 2022- Dec 2023

The vital role that learning of all types (formal, informal and non-formal) and for all ages can play in reshaping Stafford town is clear and the Learning Town programme was developed to consider how learning could be positioned as part of the redevelopments planned for the town. 

“To promote and develop all types of learning for everyone, placing it at the heart of Stafford’s growth and generation”

The case for embedding learning at the heart of the town as it re-opens, recovers, redevelops and grows is even more compelling. During the pandemic, learning cities and communities internationally have demonstrated that lifelong learning is a crucial mechanism for supporting people in changed life contexts – be that for information, skill development, having fun, creating connections, health and wellbeing, or giving people a renewed sense of purpose. Learning has been vital in supporting people of all ages, businesses, and governments to cope with the pandemic and is even more vital in supporting them as areas recover post Covid 19.   

This paper is seeking to introduce the potential development plan for the notion of a learning town approach for Stafford based around 3 key aims:

Aim 1: Incorporating a range of learning opportunities at the heart of the town as part of the transformation of place and recovery from the pandemic, thus helping to creating a strong and vibrant town centre environment  

Aim 2: Engaging all residents through a multifaceted approach in learning to help support own health and wellbeing.

Aim 3: Engaging key stakeholders to identify the support and development opportunities within their sector through the learning Town programme.

Why is the Learning Town Programme being created?

  • Provide regular, targeted information to the public and businesses about learning and training opportunities
  • Enhance and develop networks to provide information, advice and guidance
  • Improve links and the flow of information between education and training providers and businesses
  • Promote learning in the community, in the classroom and in/for the workplace
  • Actively promote the value of learning and the difference that it can make to peoples live
  • Work collaboratively to provide learning opportunities for people from all backgrounds to learn new skills and to enhance the skills and knowledge that they already have
  • ‘Stamp’ current learning initiatives with the Learning Town brand to increase awareness and visibility

What will the Learning Town Programme do?

  • Create, promote and sustain a culture of lifelong learning for people from all backgrounds
  • Work in partnership with key stakeholders, sectors and organisations from across the town to provide and promote learning opportunities for all and undertake specific activity to address some of the key challenges facing the town’s growth and development 
  • Improve and increase access and awareness of learning opportunities that are available
  • Promote the value of learning in education, the workplace, and in the community
  • Disseminate good practice and share good news to celebrate the success of individuals or groups
  • Support key stakeholders to bid for funding to provide new learning resources and opportunities to people in the town
  • Establish new learning events and actively contribute to existing events

Who will the Learning Town Programme work with?

The programme will look to work with any organisation, partner or individual who has an interest in furthering education and learning. Sector specific stakeholders will be identified and engaged with:

  • Business- Stafford Town Centre Partnership and Stafford Chamber of Commerce
  • Local Authority- Stafford Borough Council & Staffordshire County Council 
  • Education- local Further Education College (NSCG Stafford College), Secondary and Primary schools will be represented through Entrust. Higher Education through the University of Wolverhampton. Adult Community Learning through Staffordshire County Council. 
  • Arts and Leisure- Gatehouse Theatre.

How will the Learning Town be implemented?

  • Governance Group will be created to guide the initial launch of the programme. 
  • Governance group would make key decisions around the focus points, development plan and branding. 
  • Creation of a membership/event group of every organisation that signs up to be part of the Learning Town programme which could meet on a monthly basis to share relevant information
  • Event and activity sub-groups would be created as and when needed.
  • Launch of the Learning Town programme in January 2022.

What are the benefits of the Learning Town Programme?

  • Provides the means of building and delivering greater participation, engagement and pride across the Stafford Borough.
  • Is a vehicle to begin to achieve greater social equity by placing education and learning at the heart of the town’s development.
  • Potential school improvement as the value of learning is understood by all
  • Increased skills levels across the lifespan 
  • Enhances quality in learning and fosters a culture of learning throughout life.
  • Enhances economic development and cultural prosperity.
  • Empowers individuals through learning and promoting social cohesion
  • Promotes sustainable development
  • Extends and promotes use of learning technologies and increased digital literacy.
  • Promotes and delivers equality & diversity
  • Boosts resource mobilisation and utilisation.
  • Strengthens learning for the workforce and in the workplace through joined up approaches e.g. in work training, apprenticeships, shared learning opportunities 
  • Improves governance and participation for all stakeholders
  • Fosters inclusive learning in communities and within the education system 
  • Strengthens political will and commitment so residents and businesses see the value

Co-ordination Mechanisms

A new governance group has been created to guide the initial launch of the programme. This group will make key decisions around the focus points, development plan and branding. Created underneath this will be a membership/event group of every organisation that signs up to be part of the Learning Town programme which will meet on a monthly basis. Specific working groups will be created to support each main event from this group.

Stafford Learning Town Governance Board

Meet quarterly
Strategic focus on the key aims
Approve development plan and branding

Stafford Learning Town Events Forum

Meet monthly
Forum for all stakeholders to agree to provide quality learning opportunities
Stakeholders to make their own unique contribution to building the learning town
Sharing good practice and events

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