Message from Katherine Burns, Principal
Each time we send out the ACL newsletter, I am struck by how much positive work is going on within the organisation. What I take from this is a real sense of commitment and passion not just for ACL and our learners but also how we look out for each other.
Although we are not all able to see each other in person yet, and for most of us, our only contact is via a screen, I think we have still upheld one of our core values – our sense of community.
This has been such a difficult year for everyone, but I believe that the companionship and community of ACL has had a part to play in seeing us through the bleak times. With the recent break in the clouds, I feel more hopeful for the coming months. In the meantime, please keep safe.
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” Albert Camus
Returning to centres
Home Covid-19 testing
We have been advised by the Department for Education that from the end of March, ACL providers will have access to home testing, which will allow all staff and learners to be tested at home for Covid-19. We are awaiting further details on the national scheme. In the meantime if people want to request a lateral flow test they can do so through https://www.essex.gov.uk/getting-tested-for-covid-19/if-you-dont-have-symptoms
Returning safely to our centres
An email titled ‘Returning safely to our centres’ has been sent out to all learners returning to our centres in the following week. The communication includes safety information and an update on home testing. If you receive any enquiries or concerns about the safety measures in place at our centres, please direct learners to this unlisted page on our website.
ACL Harlow move
On 20th December 2020, ECC was awarded £977,000 to fund the ACL/Harlow Library project through The Getting Building Fund. The redevelopment of the existing library together with the relocation of ACL from Abbotsweld, Harlow to the Harlow town centre library site, will provide the residents of Harlow with an enhanced library and greater access to adult learning and skills training.
In the last fortnight, there were two public meetings chaired by ECC Cabinet Members (Cllr Ray Gooding and Cllr Sue Barker) to give the residents of Harlow an opportunity to see the plans and feedback their thoughts, comments and ideas.
In addition, joint meetings have been held with ACL and library staff (those working in the Harlow site) to explain the plans and to collect views on the move. Many ideas were shared and we will be following up these over the coming weeks and months.
If you did not have the opportunity to attend the session, and would like to find out more, please find a link to the slides.
ACL Employee Forum
Whether you are new to ACL or have worked here for years, your views are needed and valued.
Our purpose is for employees to gain a better insight into how the whole service runs and how we can work better together.
The ACL Employee Forum meets to evaluate and improve processes and solve issues that affect all staff. It is about two-way communication, and staff having a voice.
We welcome employees from all areas including customer services, premises, pre-school, the apprenticeship team, LSAs and volunteers, and the MIS team. All opinions and viewpoints are valued.
Our next goal is looking into ways of improving the gathering of destination data from past learners. We are also about to test parts of the ACL website and give feedback on improvements. You may have ideas of areas you’d like to be involved in, so do join us if so.
We usually meet monthly on Teams but flexible attendance can work too. Contact Teresa Ablewhite if you want to know more.
ACL Essex on BBC Essex!
Did you catch our Vice Principal of Curriculum & Learning, Christian and Curriculum Manager, Vicky on BBC Essex last week? They spoke about literacy and numeracy skills and the opportunities and support we offer residents of Essex. Well done to Christian & Vicky!
You can listen to the show here.
Information from UCU from Ian Hyde
This is to let staff know that I have taken on the role of UCU (University and College Union) representative for ACL. I have decided to take up the mantle albeit on a part-time basis.
Some of you may know me from my previous role at ACL, but for the past 5 years or so I have been a fractional maths tutor teaching both GCSE and Functional Skills across the county.
I am hoping to grow the membership and if anyone is interested in joining then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are eligible to join UCU if your work involves the provision of, or professional support of education, training or research.
If you are unsure if you are eligible to join then please get in touch.
I am also hoping to send out regular updates to members and I will advise members further on that in due course.
Wellbeing for Education Return
Wellbeing for Education Return has been funded by the Department for Education and Department of Health and Social Care, in partnership with Health Education England, Public Health England and NHS England and Improvement. This webinar ‘Every Interaction Matters’ has been put together to help education staff in schools and Colleges, in identifying early warning signs of Mental Health issues.
MindEd Hub Webinar Press ‘play’ then ‘continue’ to download. It downloads as a PowerPoint presentation with an audio transcript.
Please take time to watch this, it will help us all to strengthen our learner and staff resilience to the wellbeing and mental health impacts of Covid-19. It does seem to focus on schools and children but, don’t be put off by this, all the content is relevant to both us and our learners.
One of our sub-contractors, Abberton Rural Training (ART), offers a wide range of courses and support for people who need a little extra support to get on a wellbeing pathway to education, accredited training, employment, and volunteering.
In recognition of the work they do, ART was nominated and won in the National Rural Business Award category of Best Rural Social Enterprise, Charity or Community Project. The CEO of ART Jacqui Stone received excellent feedback from the judges and we also offer our congratulations.
To read more information about the work that ART does in the community and how they have supported the community so successfully during Covid–19, click here.
Tea Room dates
A Team in ACL Teams for staff to come and meet, share ideas and best practice, ask questions and join drop ins. You can also just catch up and chat about anything!
Tea Room upcoming dates:
- 10th March | 9am
- 15th March | 6pm
- 23rd March | 12pm
- 29th March | 12pm
If you have any questions, please contact Jo Loss or Karen Gowlett.
Senior Leadership Team (SLT)
Katherine Burns, ACL Principal
Christian Norman, VP Curriculum & Learning
Teresa Ablewhite, VP Quality & Compliance
Claire Maynard, Business Operations Manager
Amanda Rawlings, Commercial Manager
If you have any feedback or queries relating to this email, please contact email@example.com