City Lit Blog

City Lit response to 2020 Adult Learning Participation Survey

Story added 2nd Nov 2020


An interesting start to #LifelongLearningWeek with the release of the Learning and Work Institute's 2020 Adult Participation in Learning Survey, and a debate on ‘Lifelong learning after lockdown’.  Although there has been a reported decade of decline in participation in lifelong learning, during lockdown over two in five (43%) – 22m people across the UK – had taken part in some form of ‘lockdown learning’. The key now is to build on this degree of engagement in education, ensuring adults realise their potential and maximise the opportunities provided.

The economic recovery after Covid is a huge challenge and adult education clearly has a vital role to play. Throughout the pandemic, City Lit has continued to be open for learning.  At the start of lockdown, we took the strategic decision to put as much of our course provision as possible online. We are now close to 1,700 classes being delivered online for this term – and with the pandemic set to continue, we are planning a further 1,800 courses to be delivered online for future terms. For a college that previously delivered the majority of courses in-person, this is a tremendous achievement. But in line with Government guidelines and with new protective guidelines in place, we are also continuing to run a number of face-to-face courses at the College. 

Throughout the pandemic it has been important for us to continue to provide crucial help and support to those people who need it the most, including students with learning and physical disabilities, as well as reaching out to those who engage in learning as a means of providing invaluable social interaction, which is fundamental in combatting loneliness and isolation.


Some of the top-line findings of the 2020 Adult Participation in Learning Survey include:

• Over two in five (43%) – 22m people across the UK – had taken part in some form of ‘lockdown learning’

• 20% of adults who left school at the first opportunity took part in lockdown learning

• This is compared to 57% of adults who stayed in education until aged 21

• 44% of adults in lower socioeconomic groups took part in some form learning the past three years

• This is compared to 74% of adults in higher socioeconomic groups

• 34% of adults who were out of work took part in lockdown learning

• This is compared to 52% of those who were in employment

• 42% of full-time workers who were furloughed took part in lockdown learning

• This is compared to 54% of those who were not furloughed

Read the survey findings here >



Online Learning at City Lit