Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Back to School - special course for Councillors

Dear Councillor Clifford,

Thank you for your application for the pilot Certificate in Local Governance for Councillors. I am very pleased to offer you a place on the programme subject to its formal validation by the university on 12 December. This letter will also be posted to your home address.

From the university’s perspective, there are just two conditions which apply. The first is your confirmation that your term of office runs at least to the end of 2008 and that you will not therefore be required to stand for re-election during the duration of the programme. The second is that you have a reasonable level of computer literacy to enable you to take part in the distance learning activities. These will form part of the assessment for the certificate so meaningful participation will be essential. There will of course be instruction in how to use the facility. Also, the “chat room” type activities are unlikely to require participants to key-in at the same time so that typing speed is not important. However it would be necessary to have reasonable keyboard skills along with the ability to download and print documents, maintain electronic files and use Word and email. For this, regular broadband internet access would be important.

You will be aware that funding for 14 places is being provided by the South East Region Improvement and Efficiency Partnership through South East Employers. I understand that SEE will be making the funding decisions. I would be pleased therefore to have an indication from you as to whether you would accept the offer, subject to funding being available through SEE, and that you meet the two conditions mentioned above. To this end, the letter in the post will have a copy for you to sign and return. If you accept, it will also ask you to confirm that you will not need to stand for re-election during 2008 and that you have the necessary level of computer literacy. Please return the signed copy by Monday 10 December.

To give you some idea of numbers, there could be up to 20 other applicants with a provisional offer such as this seeking the 14 SEE funded places. (It is possible though that not all the 20 will need the SEE funding.)

As to the start date of the pilot course, I am hoping that any conditions which the validation panel impose on 12 December can be addressed by the course team in time for the planned start date of Friday 11 January 2008. It is possible however, that the panel may insist on an additional month to consider any amendments may they require. If this were to be the case, then the programme would commence on Friday 22 February, the date of the planned second module. We would then need to decide, in consultation with participants, where the additional module would best be slotted into the 2008 calendar.

I hope very much that you will be joining this exciting new programme.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Summers

CLGFC Course Director

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