This area refers to funding, premises, resources for teaching and learning, and support for students and tutors. Access to high quality resources sends a clear message to students that they are entitled to high quality provision. The key point is that every aspect of the service is informed by an adult student-centred philosophy.
A good adult basic education service requires reliable and consistent funding. It is vital to have clear communication between the funding bodies and the management of the service in order to allow for planning and monitoring expenditure. In particular, managers need to have accurate information about the budget allocation at the start of the financial year.
Appropriate premises are an essential feature of good adult literacy provision. They need to reflect an attitude which respects the status and dignity of the students. Ideally they should be for the sole use of the service and have security of tenure. The building itself can convey a welcoming and positive environment or can create a barrier to access and learning. A good adult basic education service should provide safe, comfortable and convenient premises where there is adequate and appropriate space for a range of users and activities, both educational and social. The premises should be equipped with adult furniture and facilities as well as access for people with disabilities. The buildings must meet health and safety standards.
Resources for teaching and learning
A wide variety of teaching and learning materials and aids is essential.
Key teaching and learning resources include:
- books and authentic learning materials designed for working with adults;
- appropriate materials, including specific areas such as ESOLand numeracy;
- information and communications technology (ICT) equipment;
- online information and learning resources;
- tutor-support material;
- blended learning opportunities;
- access to validated programmesand certification;
- audio and visual materials; and
- photocopying facilities.
A good adult literacy service accommodates students with a wide range of needs and concerns and pays special attention to supporting students who experience particular barriers relating to language, poverty, childcare needs or disability.
Student support includes:
- access to educational guidance;
- childcare support;
- outreach centres;
- support for new students;
- student committees;
- funds and structures for financial assistance if necessary;
- other general or specific supports as appropriate; and
- information about local, regional and national events for students.
Tutors need training and support in all aspects of their work. A good adult basic education service will provide initial and in-service tutor training and a support structure for tutors.
Tutor support also includes:
- a mentoring system for new tutors;
- regular contact between tutors and the organiseror resource workers;
- a well-stocked resource room;
- easy access to computers, photocopier, audio and video equipment, with training as required;
- close links to NALA;
- information and training in relation to specific needs (culture, language, disability);
- support for certification;
- regular tutor meetings; and
- information and communications technology (ICT) and online resources and support.
Structures for tutors and students
There should be structures for tutor and student representation and feedback in relation to decision-making and management processes.