Wider Access Programme 2023-24

Guidance for Community Groups and Services

1. About the Wider Access Programme

Glasgow Kelvin College’s Wider Access programme is designed to support learning in areas characterised by multiple deprivation or for groups of people experiencing disadvantage which:

  • makes access to main campus programmes difficult for them; and
  • who need a partnership approach in which their individual learning needs are supported through review by the community group or service requesting the support.

The programme is one in which funding for tutor time is set aside to enable response to community need.

The College, in response to demand from community partners, delivers the Wider Access programme in the community.

The College does not advertise this provision: it is designed for community groups and services working in partnership with the College to identify the learning support needs of local residents they already work with.

2. Eligibility for Wider Access support

Requests for support from the Wider Access programme may be made by community groups and services which are:

  • not for profit organisations;
  • within the Glasgow region; and which support excluded groups of people:
  • who would not normally be able to access mainstream learning opportunities (e.g. people who are unemployed, experiencing in-work poverty, in recovery, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged);
  • who constitute a viable group (normally about 12) which uses public spending well; and
  • who are willing to progress, through individual learning plans, developing their capacity to thrive.

Typically, these are groups which need the support of a smaller class sizes (up to 12 learners rather than the 18 to 20 expected in main campus provision) to ensure learners receive additional tutor attention and who are most comfortable learning in a familiar and local setting (a community venue).

While the programme is available across the Glasgow Region, priority is given to the communities in the north east of the city.

3. Community partner requirements

The partner should:

  • know the learning needs of the local community and the members of the group they’re seeking to support, because they’re working locally and know local people;
  • be prepared to review progress with learners in a friendly and supportive, informal manner; and
  • confirm that the group faces barriers to mainstream main campus college provision and so requires the community-based learning service requested because it’s the most appropriate form of support.

The community partner therefore acts as the representative of the students in requesting the Wider Access programme; as the appropriate way to achieve their agreed educational aims and progression.

The Wider Access request form (signed by the learners’ representative) formalises this relationship.

Although the College generates an individual learning plan which records the additional support being provided, the learners’ need for the programme and progression from it is reviewed with the learner by the community partner organisation representing them.

4. Range of Support

In general, the courses supported are available from the College’s current portfolio, taught by College staff and generally within normal College hours.

If the course or flexible learning programme wanted is not normally covered by the College (see prospectus or www.glasgowkelvin.ac.uk for details) please make enquiries anyway: we may be able to provide support.

Courses should support employability or have a clear progression route identified and should support the development of core skills (Digital Skills, Communications, Numeracy, Working with Others, Problem Solving) as well as having a vocational, personal or social skills development focus.

Examples of courses provided previously include:

  • Allergen Awareness;
  • Art;
  • Basic Digital Skills;
  • Beauty Therapy;
  • Business and Office Software Skills;
  • Childcare;
  • Communications;
  • Confidence Building;
  • Cooking on a Budget;
  • Customer Care;
  • Drama;
  • Employability;
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages;
  • Family Healthy Eating;
  • Healthy Eating;
  • Infection Control;
  • Introduction to Counselling;
  • Managing Performance;
  • Mindfulness;
  • Personal Development;
  • Photography;
  • REHIS Elementary Health and Safety;
  • REHIS Emergency First Aid;
  • REHIS Food Hygiene;
  • Risk Assessment;
  • Scottish Certificate for Licensed Premises Staff;
  • Self-Awareness; and
  • please ask rather than assume we can’t...

The most effective form of digital skills support tends to be in the form of flexible learning programmes that support individuals to learn based on their own interests and starting points, but if a group all wishes the same programme then this can be accommodated.

5. Support for staff and volunteers

The fund is also available to support community capacity building and the College is happy to consider requests from community or social economy organisations that, in the absence of an appropriate training budget, may be in need of training for their employees or volunteers in order to support the development of the organisation and its ability to make a positive difference to the lives of local people.

Staff and volunteers learning alongside the community group members they’re supporting helps to develop the trusted relationships essential for community learning and development, so if some places are for staff and volunteers as well as the groups being supported, the College is more than happy that an appropriate mix participates in the learning. 

6. Timetabling

Individual courses will be no more than 12 weeks in length and will normally be delivered within one of the College’s three teaching blocks.

It may be possible to arrange continuing courses provided that they support the development of new skills at each stage, and provided that there are enough people wishing to continue onto each new stage.

Block Dates are as follows:

Block 1

Start Date: 21 August 2023

End Date: 17 November 2023

Block 2

Start Date: 27 November 2023

End Date: 1 March 2024

Block 3

Start Date: 11 March 2024

End Date: 14 June 2024


The College will try to support start and end times to suit partner requests, but timetabling constraints mean that it’s easiest if the start and end times of tutor-supported sessions were to be where possible between 09:00 and 12:15 and 13:00 and 16:15.

7. Request process


  • Discuss the needs of your group with one of our Curriculum Managers who support the programme: Claire Walters - cwalters@glasgowkelvin.ac.uk or Andrea Macaulay - amacaulay@glasgowkelvin.ac.uk 
  • or please phone:   0141 630 5000
  • We will then be in touch within 5 working days to further discuss your request.

If you know your requirements for the entire year then it is advisable to submit requests right away for all three sessions (Aug – December, December – March, March – June) – but each block has to be agreed again based on evidence that the group is attending, learning, attaining
and progressing.

We encourage learners to progress to continue studying locally or at one of the College’s three campuses.

Meeting with the College representative as indicated above is the best way of ensuring that the College’s support is appropriate and based on partnership rather than simple service provision.

8. Service commitments

The College will always try to honour its commitments, and expects its partners to try to in similar manner.  Once an arrangement has been made to provide a tutor service through the Wider Access programme the College will do its best to maintain the service, for example providing where possible alternative cover in the case of tutor illness or other unavoidable interruption. 

In return, the College will expect that the partner will encourage and support learners to attend the tutor services provided and to recruit additional learners when spaces become available. 

If attendance falls below viable level which justifies the public expense the decision to provide tutor support will be reviewed and the tutor service may be withdrawn.  In these circumstances the College will try to identify appropriate alternatives based in nearby partner learning centres or the main College campuses.

9. Further information

Further information is available by contacting Claire Walters or Andrea Macaulay as detailed above. 

Last modified: Friday, 4 August 2023, 4:53 PM