Pound Plus Policy 2019-20

Newcastle City Learning's Pound Plus Policy 2019-20


What is Pound Plus?

Pound Plus refers to additional income generated by providers over and above core income from the ESFA's Adult Education Budget. It is a term used to describe how learning providers can show how they are maximising the value of public investment. This is important because generating additional income and revenue is central to the objective of driving up participation within a very constrained public funding environment

Pound Plus includes income generated or savings made through course fees, financial sponsorship, access to new learning spaces made available at no or reduced costs; use of volunteer workers; donations of equipment or consumable items; access to other funding sources or grants.


We undertake a large volume of activity that contributes to the wider delivery of community learning and the generation of additional income is central to the objective of driving up participation in the community. The term 'Pound Plus' describes how we can demonstrate that we are maximising the value of public investment. It is used by the ESFA to describe the added value required to supplement the existing community learning income streams to benefit learners, particularly those who are disadvantaged and cannot afford to pay fees.

Newcastle City Learning and generation of Pound Plus

NCL offers a balanced programme of courses. This includes courses open to all adults as advertised in our termly brochure as well as provision designed to meet specific needs of learners and/or communities i.e. learners with learning difficulties/disabilities, family learning, those recovering from mild to moderate mental health difficulties and those from deprived communities. Courses are created and delivered out in the community in response to local need and in partnership with local community groups i.e. Angelou Centre courses are specifically designed for women only groups

Dedicated adult learning centres are supplemented by over 50 venues in the community and within local schools. This helps NCL to meet the needs of learners who otherwise may not participate in adult learning. A differentiated fees policy is in place which includes a mix of fee-paying public courses and free targeted provision. This ensures that all adults have the opportunity to access learning, including the most affluent and the most disadvantaged. 

The ESFA contributes to the overall costs of delivering the programmes, but there is an expectation that we will add value to this funding by attracting extra income, cutting costs and reinvesting to widen the offer to disadvantaged learners. To meet this expectation, NCL works collaboratively with partners and other Council departments to ascertain local priorities and consider ways of securing added value.

NCL generates additional income and savings over that of which we receive from the ESFA by:


  • Fee income from learners
  • Income from room hire to local community groups and businesses
  • Use of volunteers to support learning
  • Curriculum efficiency - avoiding duplicate provision
  • Curriculum planning - to ensure the course offer meets both the government priorities and the needs of the local communities. NCL also offers better progression opportunities leading to increased participation
  • Income from Café at Westgate and/or vending machines at various venues
  • Use of external venues at no charge - Angelou Centre and family learning venues
  • Income from Westgate community markets - stall holders pay to participate in the market 3 times a year



NCL will carry out regular reviews through our quality processes and self-assessment

Contact information:

Julie Hickin - Senior Gateway and Funding Manager. Telephone 0191 277 3502 or internal 23502