Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fighting back

A new organisation has been formed declaring, "we believe that affordable access to the life changing opportunities provided by education is the hallmark of a civilised society". The website is here.

Why is it needed? Read this from Peter Kingston,
The auguries for England's devastated adult education service are grim. Few have any hope that the government's response to its consultation on informal adult learning will include plans for restoring the 1.5m evening class places that were lost over two years as a direct result of Labour policies.

...But having underspent on its controversial Train to Gain programme for the second year in a row, did the department plough the surplus cash back into some other segment of FE — adult education, say? No, it shoved it across into the higher education budget.

Sceptics of the government's creed that employer demand should be the prime factor in spending public money for adult FE say that this year's £200m Train to Gain shows pretty conclusively that even when free cash for training is piled in a trough in front of it, industry has little appetite.

"The real adult skills crisis is the impact that government policy is having on wider adult learning," says Professor Ewart Keep from the Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University.

"As more and more of the adult learning budget is diverted into Train to Gain, often to pay for the accreditation of skills the workers already have, the overall number of adult learners falls. As a result, we are in danger of moving further away from any meaningful notion of lifelong learning."

The situation in University Adult Education is also critical, we haven't seen the cash. A national adult education service, controlled and run locally, something built up over more than a century by dedicated hard work and the hope for a better future, is being decimated. It is a national scandal.


Taylorakis said...


Hope it's OK, but I've pinched this to put on our site, Critically Chatting: Youth and Community and Beyond at

The struggle continues and I must reply to your stimulating blog properly.

Tony Taylor loves rugby league, real ale, living on Crete

The Plump said...

You are more than welcome.

Living on Crete? I am jealous, really jealous.