John Wheatley Learning Network
The John Wheatley Learning Network is a unique collaboration by Wheatley Group and Glasgow Kelvin College in which learning centres are:
- hosted by independent organisations (26 in north east Glasgow) which use the facilities as part of their own community services, delivering:
- drop-in digital inclusion services for local residents;
- employability support services;
- adult literacy and numeracy services; and
- youth services; and which are
- supported by Glasgow Kelvin College which delivers to the host organisations:
- internet connectivity with firewall, URL filtering;
- software licences;
- technical support;
- web services;
- tutor support services;
- youth work services;
- online learning services; and
- community learning and development support services (including training for learning centre host staff and volunteers which provides the opportunity to gain certification in the form of the College's Certificate in Digital Inclusion and Community Achievement Awards).
The learning network currently consists of 35 community based learning centres, 30 of which are in the north east of Glasgow, including three College-based flexible learning progression hubs with tutor support services available week days.
The John Wheatley Learning Network originated as the greater Easterhouse Learning Network, established in 2002, which later incorporated learning centres established as 'East End Connected', becoming the Glasgow East Learning Network. The learning network was created to ensure access to digital technologies and services in areas experiencing multiple deprivation, so enabling participation in digital life and enhancing employability. In 2014, Glasgow Kelvin College formed a strategic partnership with the Wheatley Group which has invested (approximately £200k in the last year) in the development of new and refurbishment of some existing learning centres.
North East Learning Programme
The learning network supports the core of the North East Learning Programme, delivered by Glasgow Kelvin College and supported through the Integrated Grant Fund. The main elements of the North East Learning Programme are:
- the John Wheatley Learning Network centres and their hosts, supporting over 5,000 people in digital inclusion services in north east Glasgow
- the Wider Access programme, supporting approximately 800 adults in north east Glasgow
- the Youth Access programme, supporting approximately 1200 young people in evening and weekend drop-in services in north east Glasgow
- the Community Achievement Awards programme, supporting approximately 250 people in community-based learning in north east Glasgow
There have recently been two additions to the John Wheatley Learning Network in the Calton ward: the Legacy Hub in Dalmarnock and the Enterprise Centre in Boden Street. These additions to the learning network in the Calton ward were supported by the College as part of its commitment to the Thriving Places approach.
The Legacy Hub was established by the People's Development Trust in 2015 with a learning centre which deploys 24 PCs, and once established requested to join the learning network. Work is currently underway to connect the learning centre and upgrade the PCs' software. The learning centre hosts drop-in digital inclusion services supported by Thenue Housing Association, which has also established a tablet lending library pilot for local residents and by Urban Fox which supports youth services there. In addition, the Legacy Hub supports groups to take advantage of its facilities including using the learning centre for training.
The Enterprise Centre was established by Community Safety Glasgow in early 2016 and has 14 PCs which support offenders (both people serving community payback orders and prisoners on release) in the development of skills related to manufacturing in its large scale workshop. The centre is also used to support the Recreate programme which supports people leaving the Payback Order scheme with voluntary work which maintain the skills development and community work programme. In addition, Community Safety Glasgow is working towards the establishment of an employability programme which will be based in the Enterprise Centre and supported by Glasgow Kelvin College.