City Lit Blog

Why the 2020s must be the 'lifelong learning decade'

Story added 22nd Nov 2019

With all the political parties naming commitments to adult education in their manifestos and general election promises, City Lit CEO and Principal Mark Malcomson CBE writes in the TES FE News on behalf of all Institutes of Adult Learning outlining that the next Government and all politicians must see lifelong learning as an agent of social change and community progression. 

Politicians must see that adult education is an agent of social change and community progression, says Mark Malcomson

In the past year, adult education has had an unusually high level of focus from politicians. Labour and the Liberal Democrats both supported commissions to explore future priorities for lifelong learning, the Commons Education Select Committee inquiry into skills was well underway and the Augar Review has been completed. This impetus has carried through into the early days of the election campaign with some very bold policy and funding announcements emerging from all parties even before their full manifestos have been published.

There are still weeks to go in the campaign, however, and any new government, whatever its complexion or mix, will have the Brexit deadline to deal with and could be quickly deflected from domestic issues. The institutes for adult learning – the network of providers supporting around 120,000 students between us – are keen to see adult education maintain its profile into 2020 and beyond.

Election 2019: The key issues for adult education

  • Cultivating a culture of learning for life, making learning the norm and accessible to all.
  • Understanding that learning throughout all stages of life contributes positively to health and wellbeing as well as employment and skills.
  • Recognising that adult learning supports communities and individuals poorly served by the rest of the education system and delivers high-quality specialist skills that are not found elsewhere.
  • Increasing funding and giving the sector a clear horizon to be able to make long-term decisions and investment after a decade of brutal cuts.


Read the full article in TES FE NEWS: