Last reviewed: 20.05.22


What is Pound Plus?

The Education and Skills Funding Agency require, as part of their funding rules, Adult Community Learning providers to have in place a Pound Plus policy. Pound Plus is a term used by the Education and Skills Funding Agency to describe additional income or added value generated by providers of adult education over and above the core Adult Education Budget. It is important because generating additional income allows us to maximise the value of public investment and is used increase the service we can provide to residents.

  • Pound Plus can include:
    • Appropriate fee remission or waiver
    • Access to accommodation at no or reduced costs
    • The use of volunteers
    • The use of shared resources
    • Donations of equipment
    • Access to other funding sources or equipment

What we do

Our aim is to maximise the funding grant allocated by the ESFA and increase the value to enable the delivery of a high-quality community learning service that meets the needs of the individual learners in our community.

We regularly review our curriculum to provide courses for adults that reflect the needs of the local community. HBXL regularly reviews all activity to ensure efficient and effective delivery, including ensuring any viable cost savings are achieved. Many Community Learning courses are permitted to run on a lower cost base to other courses as they are providing a lower contribution to general overheads. HBXL works with stakeholders to ensure local economic need is met.

A differentiated fees policy is in place which includes a mix of fee-paying public courses and free (i.e. fully fee-remitted) targeted provision. This ensures that all adults have the opportunity to access learning, including the most affluent and the most disadvantaged.

Fees and charges for Community Learning

There will be no charges made to our learners for the following provision:

  • Functional Skills English & Maths
  • GCSE English & Maths and programmes leading to the same
  • Essential Digital Skills Courses

For other provision, falling under the ‘Community Learning’ strand we may ask our learners to provide a contribution towards the cost of their course.

Learner Subsidies

As part of our ‘Pound Plus’ commitment, HBXL will waive fees, either fully or in part, for evidenced unemployed people/learners in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Employment Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit (work related)

Other learners may also be exempt from fees at the discretion of the provider. These may include full time carers of adults, refugees and asylum seekers, care leavers, homeless residents or those at risk of homelessness. This list is not exhaustive and HBXL will review this on a course by course basis each year.


HBXL will carry out regular reviews of provision through our quality processes and self-assessment practices.