The need for change
Following our mission to bring education in reach of all those who need it, our regional governance needs to greater support us to understand and serve local communities, responsive to their needs.
As a national provider, it is especially important to demonstrate that we can be responsive to devolving education policy and funding decision-making, which is increasingly local.
Currently this local oversight is delivered by Regional Committees which are almost exclusively forms of branch learners and volunteers. These communities are of great importance to us. However, they form just a small part of our learner demographic and are not representative of the whole. We need to better understand and reach the hardest to reach.
Changes in the external regulatory environment in which WEA operates, its recent reclassification as part of the public sector, changes to funding agreements, and new inspection criteria in England are also drivers of the need for change.
In their July meeting, the Board accepted the WEA Council’s recommendations that as of 1 August 2023, our regulations will be changed to de-constitute, or wind down, our Regional Committees and replace them with Local Advisory Panels in England.
The role of a Local Advisory Panel