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.

Each member organisation is able to apply for up to £1000 per academic year (1 September – 31 August). A minimum of two applications must be made during the year to access the funding i.e. the £1000 cannot be used to support just one learner.

Start Your Grant Applications

To be considered for grant funding learners will need to complete the Learner Grant Application Form and have a Grant Application Endorsement Form completed from a representative within the college.

Grants FAQs

  • Who is eligible for grant funding?

    Any learner from a member organisation can apply for a grant.

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

    Learners will be informed by letter if their application has been successful. If more supporting information is required we will contact the learner direct 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 applications can be found at the bottom of this section.

  • How long does it take to process applications?

    We aim to process all applications within 21 working days. We will keep applicants informed if there any delays.

  • How long is the grant application open for?

    The grant application is presently open-ended, but this can change at any time. Please keep an eye on our website.


The work of further education organisations, staff and learners in improving social mobility deserves recognition. That’s why we’ve decided to host an annual awards ceremony to celebrate the achievements of our member organisations, Centres, Providers, their staff, and their learners.

This year’s Awards evening will be held at the Leicester Marriott Hotel on the 1 December 2020. If you would like to join us in celebrating the successes of our Members, Centres and Providers book your place via our conference page.

Nominations for this year’s Awards are open and a deadline will be announced later in the year. If you need help with your application contact our team or download our Awards booklet here.


Inspiring Learner of the Year

Any learner from any Skills and Education Group member organisation can be nominated for showing a clear passion for learning and determination in the face of adversity, and inspiring others to overcome challenging personal circumstances to make great educational achievements.

Submit your nomination

Outstanding Staff Member of the Year

Any staff member from any level of our member organisations can be nominated for positively impacting others through teaching or assessment excellence, outstanding learner support or helping others.

Submit your nomination

Social Impact Award

Any Skills and Education Group member organisation can be nominated for making the greatest contribution to social mobility by achieving excellence in helping to transform lives by providing excellent work experience opportunities to help learners into careers, working with marginalised individuals or offering projects that benefit the wider community.

Submit your nomination

Skills and Education Group Awards Centre of the Year

Any Skills and Education Group Awards Centre can be nominated for exceptional learning provision, including outstanding qualification delivery and assessment, excellent support for learners and the improvement of learners’ life chances through education.

Submit your nomination

Certa Access Provider of the Year

Any Certa Access Provider can be nominated for transforming the lives of learners by giving them a gateway into higher education through high-quality teaching and assessment, effective support of learners from disadvantaged backgrounds, and successful progression of learners into higher education and beyond.

Submit your nomination


As a national organisation, we are in a strong position to raise the profile of the positive impact of further education and it’s role in social mobility. We ensure that the interests of the further education and skills sector are represented at national forums and in Parliament. We develop key relationships and support the continuation of research into social mobility. The Foundation will  also develop publications that highlight and celebrate the role of further education and skills providers in driving social mobility.

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: