What We Do

Our experience in further education and skills, and the stories of our member organisations, learners, teachers and support staff, has shown us the impact of further education on individuals, communities and organisations. We want to emphasise this impact and help it go further. As a result a fourth area of the Group was formed: our Foundation.

Launched in May 2019, the Foundation champions social mobility in the further education and skills sector, highlighting the role further education and skills providers play in transforming people’s lives.

The Foundation does this by:

Becoming a voice for and raising the profile of social mobility

Engaging in project-based activity and research

Providing grants to learners

Recognising organisations, staff and learners for their work in improving social mobility

Grant Funding

The Foundation provides grant funding for our members, to be used to support their learners. Our grants are designed to help learners overcome social barriers and to enable them to advance their skills in education. We will support applications from individuals that demonstrate their commitment and willingness to achieve. The types of grants we will support include contributions to:

  • Educational resources
  • Transport costs
  • Living costs
  • Childcare
  • Educational events such as; organised visits, seminars which support learning outcomes etc.
  • Recreational activities such as; organising student union events, attending a sporting activity etc.

Grants range from £200 through to £1,000 depending on the individuals circumstances. We also support grant applications that support group-related educational opportunities.

Start Your Grant Applications

Since the start of the 2022/23 academic year, we have had an exceedingly high number of responses from learners and supporting staff. The level of applications in comparison to last year has almost doubled and the number of learners we have managed to support has reached nearly 300.

We have therefore temporarily paused applications. This is to provide our staff with the time and space to process a large backlog of pending applications and to also enable us to better plan for a demand that continues to exceed our highest expectations.

Applications will reopen in the near future and we will provide further details closer to the time.

Grants FAQs

  • Who is eligible for grant funding?

    Any learner from a Silver, Gold or Platinum member organisation can apply for a grant. A map of current member organisations can be viewed on our Membership page.

  • How does a learner know if their grant application has been successful?

    Learners will be informed by email if their application has been successful. If more supporting information is required we will contact the learner directly or the member organisation via email.

  • How do you apply?

    The learner will need to complete the Learner Grant Application Form and a representative from the organisation will need to complete a Grant Endorsement Form. Links to these forms can be found above.

  • How long does it take to process applications?

    We aim to process all applications within 14 working days. We will keep applicants informed if there any delays.

  • How long is the grant application open for?

    Applications are temporarily paused due to exceedingly high demand. They will reopen soon and we will provide further details closer to the time.

100 Faces of Further Education

Further education plays a vital role in creating a more just and equal society. However, it cannot fix inequality alone.

With the COVID-19 pandemic likely to entrench inequality even further, there is a need to understand how we create a more equal society through further education and skills.

That’s why the Skills and Education Group is today launching the 100 Faces of Further Education. This project aims to provide insights into the barriers and successes of achieving social justice by telling the stories of students and staff from across our membership.

Do you have stories to share?

We want to identify stories from your organisation that fall into the following categories:

  • A scheme that aims to deliver social justice through education for a particular group of students or the community
  • Personal stories from students or staff that highlight negative experiences in further education and skills in relation to their circumstances and the impact of those experiences on their education or employment
  • Personal stories from students, staff, employers or community members that highlight successful interventions within their further education experience.

Across the Group, there are factors that are specific to different providers, such as supporting students from rural locations or working with certain groups of adult learners. We are keen to capture the experiences that are unique to individuals at your organisation.

What will the stories be used for?

The collection of stories will be published in a report in early 2021. This report will make parliament, policy makers and the wider public aware of the impact of further education and skills on social justice.

We’re keen to hear from your learners!

We would like to hear from your learners. We want to understand their concerns regarding COVID-19 and their education. We encourage them to complete this short survey Their answers will help us to get a good idea of how learners are feeling about their education during these difficult times. As a thank you for their participation, they will be entered into a draw to win a £50 Amazon voucher that can be used to purchase resources to support their studies. The survey is open to non-members.

Get involved

To find out more about the project please contact either Katie Shaw, a consultant working with the Skills and Education Group, or Scott Forbes, Director or Member Services and Communications.

Work We Support

The Foundation is pleased to support several initiatives that champion the advancement of skills and education to improve the lives of individuals. To find out more about the initiatives we support visit their websites: