Aspire Sussex provides community-based Adult Education that is vibrant, accessible and sustainable, and responds to the needs of our local communities.

Our Mission

To enable people to achieve their personal aspirations, whatever their starting point, and inspire them to learn, enjoy and achieve.

West Sussex County Council

Some of our courses are delivered through a contract we have with West Sussex County Council. We work in partnership with WSCC to ensure the County Council meets its objective of ensuring that residents of West Sussex can access the skills training they need to succeed in playing their part in society and in supporting the growth of the West Sussex economy.

In 2012 West Sussex County Council (WSCC) investigated a range of options for the longer term provision of their Adult Education Service, with the aim of providing the best delivery model to secure the future of local Adult Education provision in West Sussex.

On 1 September 2012 Aspire Sussex Ltd (previously West Sussex Adult & Community Learning Service) became an independent, charitable, social enterprise.

Comments

If you have any comments about Adult Education you can contact us by emailing enquiries@aspiresussex.org.uk or by phoning 0345 601 0161.

If you have any comments about the contract we have with West Sussex County Council that you wish to direct to the County Council, please email Adult.Education.Enquiries@westsussex.gov.uk

Aspire Sussex is governed by an appointed board of seven trustees. Further information on the remit of our trustees and the code of conduct can be found in the documents on the bottom of the page.

Biographies for Trustees

Norman Boyland (Chair)

With a background in research, development and operations in the pharmaceutical industry, Norman works in the areas of skills, innovation and economic development. He was Chair of the Learning and Skills Council South East Region 2006 – 2010, additionally chairing the National Capital Committee during the same period. He remains a non-executive director of the Innovation Centre at the University of Sussex and Chair of Trustees of 4SIGHT, a charity for the blind and partially sighted. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Brighton and is a Deputy Lieutenant of West Sussex.

John Burke

John Burke is a retired Assistant Chief Fire Officer who spent 18 years of a 31 year career in middle and senior management posts with management focus on training, ICTt, emergency operations, risk, projects and strategy. He was Regional Project Director for the North East, with responsibilities for FiReControl, Firelink and a range of regional collaboration initiatives.

He was a member of the 999 Liaison Committee, undertook work to produce national guidance for CPD and Work at Height and participated in European projects rescue from height and depth. Since retiring from the Fire and Rescue service he worked on behalf of the Chief Fire Officers Association as senior professional advisor to the FiReControl Project.

Other experience has included contributing to the work of the Institution of Fire Engineers and fourteen years as chairman of a school governing body. Academic awards include membership of City and Guilds of London for fire service management, a BA (Hons) in Business Studies and a Post-Graduate Certificate in computer based information systems.

Lyn Glanz

Lyn Glanz has lived and worked in the Netherlands, the UK and Switzerland where she was Dean of Graduate Programmes for a Swiss University. Originally a qualified social worker, she has been actively involved with global mobility issues as both a consultant and researcher, designing and delivering bespoke programmes in a number of countries for major multinational concerns and academic institutions. She brings international experience in educational quality systems having acted as an official auditor or prepared accreditation documentation for Swiss, US, UK, Croatian, Dutch and Lithuanian education programmes.

Robyn Kohler

Prior to joining Aspire Sussex Ltd in 2015, Robyn was the CEO/Principal of Friends Centre, an independent Adult Education charity in Brighton and Hove. She moved into the ‘not for profit’ sector five years ago, after ten years as Head of Faculty for Skills for Life and Adult and Community Learning, including the remit for ALDD, International and Additional Learning support, and has lead on Equality and Diversity.

She has 15 years of management experience in Adult Education, and ten years of experience in sales/marketing and business development prior to taking a break to have her family. She was the Chair of Governors at a primary school in Bexhill-on-Sea for five years as well as being a Governor trainer for ESCC prior to training as a teacher.

Robyn has led on the Hastings and Rother Employability and Skills projects, and worked in partnership with the East Sussex NHS Trust to deliver Skills for Life projects.

Melanie Muir

Melanie is the Director of Operations at St. John’s School and College – a registered charity based in East Sussex, where she has worked since April 2017. Melanie has responsibility for the finance, IT and estates teams. Prior to St. John’s, Melanie gained over 10 years’ manufacturing industry experience, within UK branches of large, publicly listed corporations and smaller private equity backed groups.

Melanie is committed to lifelong learning and, since leaving full time education, has achieved a BTEC National Certificate in Business and Finance, became a Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant, and was awarded an MSc in Operations and Supply Chain Management with distinction, which she studied online with the University of Liverpool. Melanie is currently studying for an MSc in Charity Accounting and Financial Management.

Peter Hofman

With over 40 years of experience in the energy industry, Peter has held senior positions in finance, strategic planning, sales and marketing, business development, information technology, and regulatory compliance. He has significant project management expertise, including in post-merger and acquisition integration, in launching corporate and social responsibility commitments, and in directing EDF Energy’s role as sustainability partner for the 2012 London Olympics.

He has served on several industry bodies, including the Energy Savings Trust, the Energy Technologies Institute, the London Energy Services Company, and as both a member and as chair of the Energy Retail Association. He has also served as a trustee for the EDF Energy Fuel Poverty Trust and as trustee of the EEGS Pension scheme.

Peter has over 15 years of involvement with Adult Education, including periods as a governor, as vice-chair and then chair of governors for City College Brighton and Hove. For more than 20 years he was a non-executive director of the Innovation Centre at the University of Sussex. In 2012 he was awarded a Fellowship by the University for his outstanding contribution to innovation at Sussex.

Walter Edgar (Co-opted Trustee)

Originally from Glasgow, Walter qualified as a Management Accountant and has held many senior executive roles in public, private and charity organisations. These have included organisations in: Biotech and Medical Devices, Media, Transport, Sport and Energy Supply.

Walter has lived and worked in Australia, namely Sydney and Brisbane. There he obtained Fellowships in: CPA Australia, Australian Institute of Directors and Australian Institute of Management. In addition to the many senior executive roles including Physician education and Management education, he was a Board member of a GP organisation and volunteer in food transport.

Coming back to the UK in 2016, Walter has recently become a Co-opted Trustee with a belief in life-long learning for the community.

As a registered charity, we rely on government funding and generous help from the public. In recent years, our level of funding has decreased, meaning that we depend more heavily than ever on donations from businesses and individuals in the local area.

If you are able to donate to Aspire Sussex, there are a number of different ways to do it: online, in person, via telephone or by post.

Online

We have teamed up with Givey.com to make it easier to donate to Aspire Sussex online (link opens in a new window).
We also fundraise through Easy Fundraising (link opens in a new window). This is great way to give, especially if you do a lot of online shopping, as it costs you no more but we get a little donation from the retailer!

In Person

You can donate by visiting any one of our centres across West Sussex. To find your nearest centre, please visit ourcontact page.

Telephone

You can donate by calling us on 0345 601 0161 and making a payment for any value on all major credit or debit cards. Please note that we don’t accept American Express cards at this time.

By Post

You can send a cheque made payable to “Aspire Sussex” to our Finance Team at Aspire Sussex, Chichester Adult Education Centre, Chichester High School Campus, Kingsham Road, Chichester PO19 8AL.

If you would like to make your donation anonymous, please inform us at the time of donation. If you have any queries about any part of our Donations process, please do not hesitate to email us at enquiries@aspiresussex.org.uk or call us on 0345 6 01 01 61.

Our values underpin the way we work. They are:

Accessible Learning

Providing the greatest possible range of adult education opportunities reaching the widest range of people

Social Responsibility

Sustaining an enterprise that supports and delivers not-for-profit Adult Education, and offering quality provision and opportunity to those least able to pay

Partnership

Working together with a variety of business and community partners to respond to local need

Innovation

Maximising every opportunity to create new and different adult education services and delivery models

Respect

Being an organisation that builds trust with learners and staff alike, by operating with integrity, honesty and reliability

Excellence

Supporting learners and to be the best they can be

We believe that students are entitled to a learning experience that takes place in a safe, healthy and supportive environment. In addition, we consider that safe learning is essential to maximise students’ experience and achievement. A copy of our Safeguarding policy is available on request.

The Prevent Duty

Aspire Sussex, and all education providers, has a legal duty to report concerns about anyone who may be vulnerable to grooming or in danger of coercion to break the law. Reporting a concern does not criminalise the person reported. If s/he is being groomed, they are more likely to be supported by a range of partner organisations through the Channel programme and will not have a criminal record.

Health and Safety

Aspire Sussex always takes a sensible and proportionate stance on Health and Safety; focusing on real risk with potential to cause harm and we take our duty of care to you very seriously.

If you have any concerns relating to Safeguarding, Grooming or Health and Safety, please speak to someone in your local centre or contact Lynne Smith by calling 01444 810718 or 07753 457981, or by emailing lynne.smith@aspiresussex.org.uk.

‘Remember, if you don’t speak out, we can’t help.’

Gender Pay Report

Last updated 18/03/2020

Introduction

Aspire Sussex Ltd (Aspire) is an Adult Education Charity that plans, promotes and delivers adult education across Sussex and the Hampshire Borders to enable people to achieve their aspirations, whatever their starting point, and inspire them to learn, enjoy their lives and achieve their goals,.

Aspire recognises the positive benefits of having a diverse workforce and is committed to providing equality of opportunity for all staff. Aspire is equally committed to ensuring that its organisational and professional values are embedded into all its working practices, including its employment practices.

Aspire offers flexible working arrangements to its employees to enable them to have a healthy work life balance. This includes part-time working, job-sharing and term time working, which, among other benefits, can help attract new talent into the organisation.

Aspire has a Trustee Board of seven, of whom three are currently women

We have a Senior Management Team of six, of whom five are women

The Difference between the Gender Pay Gap and Equal Pay

The Gender Pay gap is a measure of the difference between the average hourly earnings of men and women, irrespective of role or seniority, expressed as a percentage of the hourly pay rate of male employees and reported on a mean (average) basis and median (middle point) basis.

In contrast and Equal Pay issue can arise where one gender is paid less than the other for performing the same of comparable work. Since 1970 UK law has stipulated that men and women in the same employment performing equal work must receive Equal Pay.

Gender Pay Gap Report for the snapshot date of 5th April 2019

The Gender Pay Gap regulations came into force in April 2017. The regulations mean that all employees with 250 or more employees are required to report their gender pay gap on an annual basis. As at the snapshot date of 5th April 2019, Aspire Sussex had 287 employees of which 237 (82.58%) were female and 50 (17.42%) were male.

In line with the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017, set out below are Aspire’s pay rates for women and men.

Mean gender pay gap 4.97% Median gender pay gap 10.44%

The mean gender pay gap nationally for all employees as reported by the Office for National Statistics in October 2019 is 16.2%.

The median gender pay gap nationally for all employees as reported by the Office for National Statistics in October 2019 is 17.3%.

Nationally within the education sector, the mean gender pay gap, as reported by the Office for National Statistics, is 17% and the median is 25.4%

The percentage of women and men employed in different pay quartiles at Aspire is as follows. This means that our total pay scale, from highest to lowest, has been divided into four and we have reported on the number and percentage of women and men in each quartile. The proportion of each gender in each quartile pay band was as follows:

Quartile Number of Employees per Quartile Number of Female Staff % of Female Staff Number of Male Staff % of Male Staff
Upper 71 57 80.3% 14 19.7%
Upper Middle 72 56 77.8% 16 22.2%
Lower Middle 71 62 87.3% 9 12.7%
Lower 73 62 84.9% 11 15.1%
Totals 287 237 82.58% 50 17.42%

These results reflect the fact that we employ more women than men at every level across Aspire and, having a predominately-female workforce means that even small variations can have a noticeable impact on our gender pay gap. In the lower two quartiles the balance of our workforce in 2019 was around 84% female to around 14% male. In the upper two quartiles, the balance was around 79% female to 21% male. This shows that, even though the upper quartiles remain majority female, the increase in the proportion of males in higher earning roles results in Aspire’s gender pay gap.

We are also required to report on bonus pay rates. Aspire does not pay bonuses to staff.


I can confirm that the data contained in this report is accurate and that Aspire’s gender pay gap has been calculated in accordance with mandatory requirements.

Robyn Kohler Chief Executive Officer

Gender Pay Gap Report for the snapshot date of 5th April 2018

The Gender Pay Gap regulations came into force in April 2017. The regulations mean that all employees with 250 or more employees are required to report their gender pay gap on an annual basis. As at the snapshot date of 5th April 2018, Aspire Sussex had 245 employees of which 197 (80.41%) were female and 48 (19.59%) were male. Aspire decided to voluntarily report its Gender Pay Gap as follows:

Mean gender pay gap 2.5%
Median gender pay gap 10.5%

Since our first report as at the snapshot date of April 2017, our mean gender pay gap has decreased from 7.2% to 2.5%, however our median gender pay gap has slightly increased from 10.2% to 10.5%

The percentage of women and men employed in different pay quartiles is as follows. This means that our total pay scale, from highest to lowest, has been divided into four and we have reported on the percentage of women and men in each quartile. The proportion of each gender in each quartile pay band was as follows:

Quartile Male Female
Upper 21.3 78.7
Upper Middle 24.6 75.4
Lower Middle 13.1 86.9
Lower 19.3 80.7

These results reflect the fact that we employ more women than men at every level across Aspire. In the lower two quartiles the balance of our workforce in 2018 was around 84% female to around 16% male. In the upper two quartiles the balance was around 77% female to 23% male. This shows that, even though the upper quartiles remain majority female, the increase in the proportion of males in higher earning roles results in Aspire’s gender pay gap.

We are also required to report on bonus pay rates. Aspire does not pay bonuses to staff.


I can confirm that the data contained in this report is accurate and that Aspire’s gender pay gap has been calculated in accordance with mandatory requirements.

Robyn Kohler
Chief Executive Officer

Gender Pay Gap Report for the snapshot date of 5th April 2017

The Gender Pay Gap regulations came into force in April 2017. The regulations mean that all employees with 250 or more employees are required to report their gender pay gap on an annual basis. As at the snapshot date of 5th April 2017, Aspire Sussex had 282 employees of which 229 (81.2%) were female and 53 (18.8 %) were male.

In line with the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017, set out below are Aspire’s pay rates for women and men.

Mean gender pay gap 7.2%
Median gender pay gap 10.2%

Aspire’s gender pay gap is less than the national picture. The ONS reported an 18.1% gender pay gap in 2016.

The pay gap regulations also require organisations to report on the percentage of women and men employed in different pay quartiles. This means that our total pay scale, from highest to lowest, has been divided into four and we have reported on the percentage of women and men in each quartile. The proportion of each gender in each quartile pay band was as follows:

Quartile Male Female
Upper 23.9 77.1
Upper Middle 24.3 75.7
Lower Middle 15.5 84.5
Lower 12.7 87.3

These results reflect the fact that we employ more women than men at every level across Aspire. In the lower two quartiles the balance of our workforce in 2017 was around 85% female to around 15% male. In the upper two quartiles the balance was around 76% female to 24% male. This shows that, even though the upper quartiles remain majority female, the increase in the proportion of males in higher earning roles results in Aspire’s gender pay gap.

We are also required to report on bonus pay rates. Aspire does not pay bonuses to staff.


I can confirm that the data contained in this report is accurate and that Aspire’s gender pay gap has been calculated in accordance with mandatory requirements.

Robyn Kohler
Chief Executive Officer

Aspire Sussex is lead partner on two Building Better Opportunities (BBO) projects. We work alongside five local charities to deliver ‘Working Together for Work’ and ‘Local Learning Perspectives’ projects for an extended period until July 2021. The delivery will support people across Sussex, Surrey and Croydon. The BBO project is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.

Aspire Sussex delivers on this project under the ‘All About Me ‘project – click here for information.

Our partners are:

o Albion in the Community – https://www.albioninthecommunity.org.uk/
o My Sisters’ House CIC – https://www.mysistershouse.info/
o Sussex Community Development Association (SCDA) – http://www.sussexcommunity.org.uk/
o Surrey Care Trust – http://www.surreycaretrust.co.uk/wp/
o WEA – Workers’ Educational Association – https://www.wea.org.uk/southern

Our projects…

Working Together for Work

This project aims to support families as a whole with multiple complex barriers to work, to develop their skills, capabilities, talents and resilience. The goal is to support more adults and young people into employment or training by providing an increased focus on employment through skills for work and employment opportunities.

To date the project has supported over 280 individuals in the community and we have already seen 25% of these moving into either education, employment or job search. This is alongside an increase in participant’s improved family quality life feeling less socially isolated and enjoying improved self-confidence.

Local Learning Perspectives

This project aims to promote and increase social inclusion through supporting individuals in the community while developing their basic and social skills. Our partners will guide and support each participant in their path to overcome the challenges and barriers that prevent them from moving forward.

To date we have supported 253 individuals in the community through this project. Participants are also reporting an increase in confidence and feeling less isolated with 25% moving into either employment, education or job search.”

Website: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk;
Twitter: @biglotteryfund #BigLottery
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BigLotteryFund

© IWM (CO 874) w CR
Header photo © IWM (CO 874)

On 28th June 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed in Versailles, France, officially ending World War 1.

With the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we marked this momentous centenary with the West Sussex First World War Learning Programme, a local history focused project that told the story of West Sussex and its communities during the First World War. We put on 14 free talks across the county, 1 short courses and 3 free events, including a family day in partnership with the Novium Museum. We also worked in partnership with Littlehampton Museum for an all-day event of talks covering topics such as the Suffragettes, life at the front and the effects of the war on the local Littlehampton area.

The poppies displayed at our Chichester centre were central to our final event, to commemorating the end of the project and dedicated to those who lost their lives in World War 1. They were created by our students and were sold in order to raise money for the Royal British Legion.

And we want the learning to continue. This page will share the learning of the project alongside some suggestions for where you can go to enhance your learning even further.

SSF-HeritageFund_Logo

Burgess Hill and Horsham

We held the Disaster on the Broad Fourteens by David Slade talk at both our Burgess Hill and Horsham centres. This talk is about the sinking of 3 ships on 22nd September 1914, HMS Cressy, HMS Aboukir and HMS Hogue, also known as the ‘Live Bait Squadron’, which killed over 1,000 men. It was an event so shocking that it changed the nature of naval warfare forever. Forces TV and BBC News covered the Live Bait Squadron Centenary Commemoration in 2014 and gave an overview of the disaster.

In the second part of the project, we held Poetry of the Great War and Introduction to World War I at our Burgess Hill centre near Remembrance day. If you are interested in reading some poetry from the Great War, try the Poetry Foundation which has some great suggestions with some historical context or the Imperial War Museum’s 9 Poets of the First World War article.

Chichester

In Chichester, we worked with the Novium Museum, a museum dedicated to the story of Chichester District built over the ruins of a Roman Bath. They provided a Family Day and three school workshops as well as hosting the Mobilisation and Mourning: Chichester during the Great War talk by Dr. Ross Wilson, Associate Professor and Director of Liberal Arts at the University of Nottingham, which highlighted the attitude towards Zepplins in the First World War. Feedback from the talk said that Ross Wilson had “a fantastic style of delivery” and this talk “brought the war to reality” and made the listeners “realise how it damaged life ‘at home’”. To see a list of Ross’s published articles, visit his profile on the University of Nottingham’s website.

At our Chichester centre, we hosted the Graylingwell War Talk 1915 – 1919 by Katherine Slay, an Archive Assistant at West Sussex Records Office. It taught people “about the evacuation of the psychiatric patients” and “how the patients spent Christmas day”. We also hosted this talk in partnership with the Fishbourne companions in January 2020 with people commenting that “Katherine told us information that had me welling up a bit but then had anecdotes that made us laugh and feel closer to the subject”.

The site of Graylingwell Hospital has now been mostly redeveloped but the history remains through the tiresome work of local historians who piece together the stories and the memories. The Imperial War Museum has a list of Graylingwell’s military patients on their online archive and Katherine herself has written about her research into Graylingwell War Hospital and its patients on the blog of the West Sussex Record Office, particularly about getting a Commonwealth War Grave for Driver George Slater who died at Graylingwell War Hospital. You can still see the site before the development began with the Time Chamber who photographed the site before the redevelopment began in the early 2000s and gives a brief overview to its history.

Crawley

Crawley and its Great Houses in World War 1 by Helen Poole was held at Crawley Museum and Crawley Library with members of the Worth Park History Society in attendance. This project was all about local history groups and this offered us an opportunity to promote the work they do as the talk featured Worth Park and its history prominently. If you want more information about Worth Park, the history society host events often or visit Worth Park Friends who raise awareness of the history of the gardens. They have an overview of the park’s history as well as a list of the flora and fauna found there. There’s also some drone footage available which really gives you a sense of the park or the park.

Littlehampton

In Littlehampton, our event at Littlehampton Museum had four talks by different speakers with widely different areas of expertise from local social history to the front to Suffragettes and made for a day full of new and interesting information.

Peter Walton spoke about his research project on the Littlehampton Museum’s image collection showing the effect the war had on the town and reminiscing about the town’s wartime history. The original project culminated in the release of “When I’ve Done My Bit”, a book available from Littlehampton Museum for £3 with all profits going to veterans charities. Some of photos from the talk and the book can be seen on the Littlehampton Museum’s website.

Angela Tester spoke about her research on the Suffragettes and people enjoyed “the passion & enthusiasm Angela has for the subject” and she “increased empathy for the Suffragettes”. Angela also has published a book “The Suffragettes at Littlehampton”, which is available at Littlehampton Museum for a donation to Amber House Women’s Refuge. If you’re looking for an overview of the Suffragettes and World War 1, try History Hub’s 3 Minute History. For more information on women in the war, the Royal British Legion and their history of Women in the Armed Forces or BBC Teach Women at Work in World War 1.

Barry Lane focused on the military history of the Lowther’s Lambs (the 11th, 12th and 13th Battalions, Royal Sussex Regiment) including their recruitment and their military action. BBC Teach have a video about Kitchener, recruitment during World War 1 and Pals Battalions, which the Lowther’s Lambs were, and British Pathe has a video of West Sussex Regiments during the war. Barry focused on Boar’s Head in 1916 and this article from the Chichester Observer goes into detail about the Royal Sussex Regiment’s participation in the battle. West Sussex County Council also have some resources about the regiment included war diaries, records and newspaper articles.

Neil Lindblom spoke at this event about the societal impact of the war but also spoke at our Littlehampton centre about the economic impact of World War 1 which gave learners a “better insight into effects of WW1”. Neil used sound recording from the Imperial War Museum archives as part of his talk as well as local history resources available at West Sussex libraries.