14 October 2010 – Adult Education discussed in Parliament

19 October 2010

It is almost the eve of the comprehensive spending review and it is encouraging to hear that Adult Education is being taken seriously in Parliament. The following is the exchange that took place in Parliament on 14th October 2010.

Eric Ollerenshaw (Lancaster and Fleetwood)(Con) asked what plans there were for the future of adult and community learning; and asked if Mr John Hayes would make a statement.

The Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning (Mr John Hayes): “Adult and community learning make a vital contribution to building a big society founded on social mobility, social justice and social cohesion. We will strive to reinvigorate adult and community learning to make it part of the wider learning continuum and and to enable providers to respond to the learning needs of their communities.”

Eric Ollerenshaw: “I thank my hon. friend for that answer. Has he managed to see research from the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education that demonstrates that 28% of adult learners show an increased involvement in social, community and volunteering activity as a direct result of their learning? Does he agree that that demonstrates the vital role that adult education will have to play in contributing to the big society?”

Mr Hayes: “Yes, indeed. As it happens, I have with me the response to the study that he describes. The transformative power of adult learning is well understood by this Government. We know that adult learning changes lives by changing life chances. It gives some of the most disadvantaged people in our community their chance to gain learning. It is frequently progressive to further learning and takes them to the world of work. This Government unequivocally back adult learning.”

Saboohi Famili – Principal

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