Community Education Co-ordinator

The Job and What's Involved

As a community education co-ordinator, you would make sure educational and recreational courses are available to meet the needs of the local community, and encourage people to take part in them.

You could work with the whole community or a particular group, such as families, ethnic minority groups or young people. Many jobs are in areas where there are high levels of unemployment or social deprivation.

Your tasks would typically include:

  • Working with local groups to identify their needs and interests
    planning ways to meet these needs.
  • Encouraging course providers to develop new learning opportunities to meet community needs.
  • Preparing and distributing information about learning opportunities.
  • Working with local schools, colleges and community centres to arrange venues and times for courses.
  • Making sure that local and national targets are met.
  • Taking part in the recruitment of tutors.
  • Administrative work (you may have an assistant to help with this).
  • Controlling budgets and bidding for funding (at a senior level).

You may also be responsible for encouraging people to get involved in activities in a particular setting, such as a museum or theatre.

You could work full- or part-time hours, usually including evenings, and sometimes Saturdays.

You would usually be based in an office in a school, college or local centre where courses are held. You would need to travel locally to visit classes and attend meetings.

Community education co-ordinators can earn between £20,000 and £25,000 a year. Earnings for senior posts can be £30,000 or more.

Earnings may be lower in the voluntary sector.

Getting Started with this Career Choice

You could be employed by organisations including:

- Local Education Authorities.

- Colleges of further education.

- Voluntary community organisations.

- Educational organisations such as the Workers' Educational Association (WEA).

- Youth and community organisations such as the YMCA.

Some jobs, particularly with voluntary organisations, may be on projects which are funded for a set period, so are short-term.

Vacancies are advertised in local and national newspapers, on local authority or individual organisations websites, and on LG Jobs.

Education and Training

You will usually need one of the following, depending on the job:

A further education teaching qualification and experience.

A youth and community qualification and experience.

Paid or voluntary community education or development experience.

You may find it useful to have a degree in a subject like educational studies, community education, communication studies or youth and community work, although this is not essential.

As you will need to travel locally, you will usually need a driving licence and access to a vehicle.

A Few More Exams You Might Need

Once you are working as a community education co-ordinator, you can develop your skills and keep up to date with lifelong learning developments by attending short courses. These may be provided in-house, or by lifelong learning or community development organisations.

You can develop your career by completing any of the following:

  • A postgraduate course in community studies or education (if you have a degree).
  • A Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector.
  • Another further education teaching qualification.

See the LSIS Information and Advice website for full details of further education teaching.

Depending on your job, you could find it useful to complete a qualification such as a diploma in youth and community work, which is often available part-time.

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Skills and Personal Qualities Needed

A community education co-ordinator needs

  • The ability to encourage and motivate people.
  • Good communication skills.
  • The ability to help people overcome barriers to learning.
  • Commitment to equal opportunities.
  • An understanding of the education and qualifications system.
  • The ability to prioritise work and meet deadlines.
  • Good planning and organising skills.
  • Flexibility and adaptability.

Your Long Term Prospects

Your prospects for progression will vary – in large adult education services or further education colleges there is more likely to be a clear career structure, and you may have the opportunity to take on more management responsibilities.

You may be able to move into community development work, perhaps with further training.

Get Further Information

Department for Education and Skills (DfES),
Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BT
Tel: 0870 000 2288.

Further Education Lecturers' Association,
The Educational Institute of Scotland,
46 Moray Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BH
Tel: 0131 225 6244

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