Welcome to the Third Sector National Learning Alliance (TSNLA)

The TSNLA represents, promotes and champions Third Sector providers of learning for adults and young people.  We provide a national voice for the sector, representing and reflecting the views of members to influence broader learning and skills policy and funding frameworks, and address issues that impact on the skills, prosperity and well-being of learners.

We work to:

  • Ensure that the unique role of Third Sector learning providers is valued and promoted at all levels of policy
  • Foster partnerships and co-operation with key national bodies and networks
  • Provide a forum for communication and the sharing of information and resources among Third Sector   learning providers.
  • Support Third Sector providers of learning to understand and influence policy and funding locally, regionally and nationally.
  • Provide information, ideas, responses and evidence for policy makers about the role and value of third sector providers of learning

Find out more information about who we are (including our Mission, Objectives, Governance and funding).

For more information about what we do (including policy, partnerships and representation).

To find out more about what is going on in the world of adult policy, skills, events and resources, go to our Policy page to download our free monthly 'Policy in your Pocket' bulletin. Alternatively, why not join the TSNLA and get the bulletin automatically every month? 

TSNLA to close in 2019 with AELP taking forward representation of third sector providers

Since its inception, TSNLA has successfully supported third sector organisations involved in adult learning and skills and championed third sector interests. Unfortunately, it has become increasingly difficult to sustain these activities at the level required to have a positive impact. This has come about firstly because of the changing context of learning and skills, including devolution, and secondly diminishing resources. The TSNLA Board have therefore reluctantly decided that it would be best to work towards a planned closure of TSNLA and have been in discussions with the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) to ensure the continued representation and support of specific third sector interests.

As a result, AELP, which already have a significant number of third sector providers, is working with its third sector members to set up a Third Sector Special Interest Group (SIG) to help AELP take forward the representation of specific third sector issue. The first meeting of the SIG will be on 14th November and this initial meeting will be open to non-AELP members. AELP has also agreed to provide some support to third sector learning organisations not in membership through occasional webinars or other online communications.

TSNLA has contractual and other commitments which require it to continue to operate until April 2019 when it is planned to close the charity completely in an orderly fashion. In the meantime, TSNLA will begin to withdraw from representation activities from November 2018 and will support AELP’s activities in this area instead.

Tim Ward TSNLA CEO says:

“We are sad that TSNLA will have to close but are proud of our achievements. We want to thank our members and our colleagues from the wider sector for the support and help that was a critical part of our success.

We are delighted with the positive response from AELP to providing a continued focus for third sector-specific issues and wish the new Special Interest Group every success for the future.”