Online learning and training specialist, EDLounge, has been announced as one of 32 innovative platforms across England to provide adult learning, as part of a new Government funding pilot.

The Flexible Learning Fund, which was recently announced by Skills Minister, Anne Milton, will invest £11.7M in a range of projects to help more adults back into the “classroom” and learning new skills.

Projects are aimed at a range of skill levels – teaching beginners all the way through to those who already have a good understanding of a topic. The Fund will address the four key areas that typically obstruct adult learning: timetable flexibility and convenience, course suitability and relevance, logistical barriers, and other caring responsibilities.

EDQuals, which was created by former teacher and EDLounge founder, Sam Warnes, provides learning for a range of adult learners in two specific areas: people in employment, looking to achieve technical, vocational or personal development; and those returning to the workforce following a career break, and who want to update skills, undertake enterprise programmes and obtain support in job readiness preparation.

The platform, which has been enhanced and developed by 11 specifically chosen expert training providers and training, is fully funded for all learners who have completed a level 2 qualification.

Some of the exciting providers onboard include: Successful Mums, a leading training and career advice organisation for mums in London, Beats Learning, a programme formed to help people at risk of social exclusion achieve a qualification in music or performing arts, and the Uganda Community Relief Association, which places priority on developing soft skills, self-confidence and qualifications to support members of minority and ethnic communities, among others.

Sam commented, “It’s an exciting time for EDLounge; to have our EDQuals platform recognised for its innovativeness alongside the very best the country has to offer is a huge achievement and one that we’re incredibly proud of. But, it’s now that the hard work starts! We have some very strict targets in place - we want to reach 3,000 adult learners by the end of this year, 4,500 by the end of 2019, and 6,000 by the end of 2020. No small feat, but I’m confident in the skills of the amazing providers we have brought on board, and the ability of the EDLounge team. Reaching the unreachable and making learning and upskilling accessible to all is our whole ethos”.

Jane Knight, founder of Successful Mums, explained why they were keen to get involved: “We are thrilled to be involved in this innovative project. From our point of view, the virtual training is another option for helping women who are planning to return to work. Women who have taken a career break might not be able to get to one of our training centres, have limited child care or prefer to learn on line so the ability to access a full suite of training resources online removes so many barriers in women’s journey back to work.”

About EDLoungeFounded in 2009 by ex-teacher, Sam Warnes, EDLounge is a unique and comprehensive platform that offers students who struggle with mainstream education the opportunity to access learning. This includes students that resist school, are home educated or suspended, can’t access traditional learning, are vulnerable or at risk, and those that are demotivated or disengaged.

With over 7000 lessons in core, foundation, vocational, and academic subjects, the platform helps improve students’ attendance, attainment and behaviour. At present, EDLounge has more than 60,000 students in over 200 schools across the UK. All resources are safeguarded and supervised, and enable teachers to monitor and track students’ progress. Originally, created to educate students who were in inclusion or excluded from school entirely in maths, English and science, EDLounge has developed significantly since then, and now has four main aspects:

  1. EDLounge offers students in all educational establishments a personalised learning pathway, in order to help improve their learning outcomes.
  2. EDClass is an app that facilitates remote learning and includes live tutorial support.
  3. EDVirtual is a virtual classroom that helps disengaged students attend lessons, gain qualifications and achieve academically.
  4. EDSimple is an inclusive school management platform and learning environment that streamlines whole school practices.

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