Adult education back on agenda for election?


After a period when adult education could be seen as the poor relation in the education system[i] the election has offered some hope of a revival if looking at the three main UK parties ‘pledges’.

In FE News, it is suggested that a ‘Cross-party, long-term commitment to adult education and lifelong learning (is) key to reengaging ‘left behind’ people and places’. Labour according to the Evening Standard plans to offer six years of free study and according to the TES it also includes a pledge to allow time off work for training.

Meanwhile for those willing to believe anything that the Lib Dems say in relation to education (remember their no fees pledge!!) a £10k ‘skills wallet’ awaits with £4000 by age of 25, £300 by age of 40 and another £3000 by the age of 50.

For those who might still believe anything that comes out of a Tory’s mouth an announcement that £1.8bn would be provided for capital projects to rebuild FE colleges a part of a skills revolution.

Those of us working in adult education and lifelong learning over the past couple of decades will not be holding our breath while we wait to see if the future for adult education looks brighter after December the 12th.

[i] Osborne, M. and Houston, M. (2012) United Kingdom – Universities and lifelong learning in the UK – adults as losers, but who are the winners? In: Slowey, M. and Schuetze, H. (eds.) Global Perspectives on HE and Lifelong Learners. Routledge. ISBN 9780415675079


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