Pound Plus Statement

York Learning
Author Angela Padfield
Date of Publication August 2022
Revised August 2023
Date of next review August 2024

Pound Plus is used by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to describe the added value required to supplement the existing community learning income streams and to widen the offer to people who are disadvantaged and cannot afford to pay fees.  York Learning, as City of York’s Adult Community Learning Service is free to determine local definitions and supporting evidence trails within this.


The aim of our community learning programmes is to maximise the value of public funding and secure increasing levels of Pound Plus to enable it to deliver a quality community learning programme that meets the needs of the City of York residents, families and communities and supports us to help transform people’s lives by supporting access to programmes that reduce feelings of isolation/loneliness/exclusion and supports their wellbeing and fitness.

The community learning grant is only considered as a contribution to the overall costs of delivering the programmes and there is an expectation that the council as the grant recipient and its partners will add value to this funding pot by attracting extra income, cutting costs and reinvesting to widen the offer to people who are disadvantaged and cannot afford to pay fees.

York Learning as the Community Learning Service works with a wide variety of community partners to provide courses that meet their target clients’ needs and look for ways to secure added value and investment.

The role of our partners

  • York Learning provide partners, who work with individuals that are furthest away from employment and wellbeing with a pathway to a social prescribing route for those individuals to access free provision of their choice.
  • Partners are expected to provide information before and after the course to clearly show why an individual should have a free course and to also collect the impact from doing that learning activity.
  • Working with partners we can determine local priorities and identify what the local needs are to create meaningful courses that meet their needs.
  • Working with partners to develop programmes that support residents to access the cultural employment and wellbeing opportunities that reflect York and its heritage whilst supporting residents physical and mental wellbeing.

Pound Plus definitions

Pound Plus is considered within three categories: Direct Income, Cost Savings and Value for Money.

Direct Income

  • Fee income from learners

Cost Savings

  • Savings in accommodation
  • Use of volunteers to support learning
  • Savings in staffing through partnerships
  • Shared services – back-office functions

Value for Money

  • Efficiency of curriculum – avoiding duplicated provision or repeat courses that do not run or generate enough recruitment.
  • Effectiveness of curriculum – new subjects, better progression opportunities leading to increased learner participation
  • Creating pathways from wider community learning provision to move into full costs or private courses so that learning continues to be key.
  • Work to minimum numbers advised to keep within viable costs.