Sunday, March 08, 2020

Adult Education and Life Long Learning

Ruskin intake 1962_Page_1Ruskin College Students and Staff 1962. Shortly after I had completed my studies there.

In pursuit of Adult Education and Life Long Learning a campaign was established last year. It marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of a similar campaign which had a measure of success from the time of the First World War, but has been hit since by developments from the era of Thatcherism. The modern campaign aims at the development of adult education and life long learning in 21st Century Britain. See its major publication here -

The new campaign has four main themes. (a) To establish a Commission on the basis of the old one. (b) To conduct research around the history of adult education. (c) To preserve the remaining records on previous adult education – some of the past records having been destroyed from the former Adult Education College at Ruskin which I attended in its best days - the intake before the photo above. (d) Exchange knowledge on the significance of Adult Education.

Stress is placed on the need for Local Authorities to have a statutory duty to provide adult education, with each individual having their own learning account.

Then Universities need to give second chances to rejected applicants.

Currently the new campaign also provides a list of the following 18 recommendations.

  1. The Government needs a Adult Education Lifelong Learning Strategy, with people having the rights to literacy, nursery and digital skills. This should also be open to those who are unemployed or part of the gig economy.
  2. There should be a Government Minister appointed with specific responsibilities to see that the above is delivered.
  3. There should be an Adult Learning Partnership drawing together local and regional government, universities, colleges and local employers on such matters aided by national media campaigns.
  4. Funding should be provided for local authorities for such services.
  5. Funding should be increased for Adult Community Services and Further Education Colleges, especially to aid those who have missed out.
  6. Additional resources should go to the Workers' Educational Association and to other institutes of adult learning.
  7. All Universities should provide Adult Education and Life Long Learning.
  8. There should be an information campaign to motivate people to engage in such provisions.
  9. Basic skills and strategies needed in the workplace need to be covered.
  10. There needs to be a community learning account of £50 million per annum rising to £100 million in three years.
  11. Further Education Colleges should have representation on their boards from local authorities, community organisations and trade unions.
  12. An innovation and development fund of £50 million should be established to spread best practice, rising to £100 million in 3 years.
  13. There is a need to use non-profit bodies such as the Open University to provide a digital platform.
  14. Apprenticeship laws need to be balanced and flexible.
  15. Employers should provide paid time off work for studies.
  16. Employers should facilitate workers learning-representatives in the workplace.
  17. Employers should submit annual reports on their educational and training provisions.
  18. There should be funding in the gig economy for access to education, without loss of earnings.

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