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Evening everyone, please do put questions in the chat
What plans are there to escalate/require the Department for Education to liaise with adult learning providers to offer Family Learning classes to all families (particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds) as an essential part of supporting children, young people and families recovering from the pandemic and the catch-up plan? Ties in brilliantly with our conversations both time we met in Manchester a few years ago Andy Burnham at your excellent School Readiness Summits! If Family Learning doesn’t get rolled out now when all the research evidence shows how high impact low cost it is it’ll be too late. Please can you help us get some action from DfE on this?
why do the mayors plans not really describe lifelong learning - can the mayors agree a definition and a narrative - skills, personal wellbeing and development
What is learning for 'learning's sake' and why doe you think it is important?
Without placing too many expectations on mayors - do we need a more nuanced understanding of what is being done that might not fit at first glance with Adult Ed ? Secondly welcome the Commission’s wish to see Adult Ed as a way of working across silos but does sit within communities and is all about health and well being and civic engagement?
Access is critical for full participation. Surely people's access should not be left to the market, but helped by an 'honest broker' service focussing on the enquirer's needs - not vacant places on courses?
It seems that MCAs do not value Personal Developmental learning and isn't that what we need for the future?
Local Lifelong Learning Partnerships used to have this honest broker role of identifying needs and gaps and appropriate signposting.
can you all agree on the idea of a regular - maybe triennial - State of the Nation’s/Region’s Learning Report, covering all progress/regress in LL?
agree about digital but we need to help those adults with no skills to get on first rung skills such as literacy and numeracy -
How do we get the right balance between the need for John Bercow's "rich offering for *all* adults", and the regional divergence that is inherent in the (dwindling) AEB being devolved? (DOI - I am a governor of Northern College.)
doesn't online compete with local?
Agree Susan. Basic skills are key to help people on their journey to learn and self fulfilment
we need to develop a ‘system’ that supports lifelong learning that establishies links between a number of highly diversified learning areas, thus opening up the opportunities for combinations and synergies not possible in one institutional setting. If supportive policies are being seriously implemented, there must be some evidence that learning is starting to spread over the lifespan. Learning that takes place intentionally and unintentionally at work, at home or during leisure time, must be acknowledged for its worth both to the individual and to the organisation. Policies should respond to the biggest problem or challenge which is that of giving all people a fair chance, and equal opportunities and access to learning throughout their lives, and not allow lifelong learning to become a mechanism that ‘reproduces inequalities’.
Agree with Susan.Pember. Digital skills are essential but must surely follow basic skills (lit/num) which are the real 'gap' indicators
To shift community based adult education to the DWP is a regressive step and I am sure Community Adult Education providers would agree with this. This needs debate.
Adults need a truly comprehensive curriculum that no one institution can provide therefore there surely should be the concept of an area curriculum in communities - brokered by an service with an overall view.
iPad (86)G Marsden
What role is there for third sector , trade unions and Union Learning reps to work with mayors and combined authorities.? Govt has given scant regard to any of these in their Skills Bill as we said in our Right to Learn conference last month where David Blunkett, Andreas Schleicher and others spoke .We will continue challenging Govt on this. Demand is as important as supply - and micromanaging hand outs from Ministers to local councils like Blackpool and others , Mayors and others won’t cut the mustard. Gordon Marsden
It is important that rural communities equally have access to learning….often people living in rural areas can not get to learning centres…bus fares being prohibitive..buses not being there
Why stop at L2? Core maths is a fantastic L3 qualification which covers really useful maths such as financial maths, spreadsheets, data analysis. Currently missing from National skills fund unfortunately but much more relevant than alevel! Jude (Bexley)
It's not just older people, lots of recent school leavers have never used office software as IT education is now about coding and web.. Lots of mundane office work needs those skills too, not everyone can be a web developer or server monkey
Staff Loan 61
Adults often find it difficult to access education, this can be mode, but more often confidence/experiences/etc. The offer for adults may need to be more to encourage them to participate, especially post-pandemic. How can our new mayors support the inevitable additional cost of outreach, engagement, and the extra support, such as residential environments, that many adults need??
jules great to hear you talk about lifelong learning, wellbeing and community adult education, it would be great if that narrative was in the next version of the SFL plan
We need social purpose ‘employability’. I’ll be pitching this at the #AdultConversations Big Conversation on Monday - an activist space so hopefully some positive, actionable outcomes.
Wonderful focus skills and employment but it is equally important to have learning for self development
Participation in adult learning Is decreasing. We know the best way to build lifelong learning is to get adults started, where they want/ can be encouraged to start. If we want to unleash the talent of all our people, let’s move out of organisational silos and focus on individual and family outcomes…..
Good to hear references to lifelong learning, health and well being, community cohesion etc as well as employment and earnings outcomes. The Skills for Jobs White Paper is proposing a much greater focus on outcomes. What specific measures do MCAs think they should be held accountable for in relation to their AEB spend?
Skills, skills, skills! Important but I’d really like to hear more about the roses! Bread and roses. A real adult lifelong learning agenda needs to highlight the importance of education for democracy and participation and also quite simply to motivate, provide and resource learning simply for the sake of learning and the joy it can bring…
Adults don't need an educational ladder to climb, but a curriculum climbing frame on which they can move in any direction at any time. An unbiased overview of opportunities in each community is therefore vital for everyone's access.
We need critical thinkers and people with real imagination to rebuild in a crisis. This speaks to the emancipatory, civic potential of adult education - that extends beyond both skills and wellbeing agendas.
question how are Mayors going to get back the 40% funding removed by recent SR rounds?
Upskilling means much more than level 3 attainment. Qualification reform risks excluding learners below level 3 across a range of areas. Listening to the speakers it emphasises how complex the landscape is, meaning that a reduction in level 3, 2, 1 and below opportunities has the potential to limit potential impact. A combination of skills and learning for the sake of learning is more important than ever.
>Direct question, are these devolved budgets truly devolved or do they come with "skills" strings? I'm not suggesting that it's all spent on art classes but to our Guests have the ability to pivot the budget to meet the wider needs of their populations?
@susanpember is absolutely right. Incredibly to focus on the loss of funding.
Those with low skills are the hardest to reach and we need to have simple ways for them to 'fall' into learning
Bring back the Adult Education centres of the past and site them in the middle of the community..they made a real difference
Question for Jamie Driscoll. What do you intend to do to support women's community adult education and women's centres in deprived areas. These have taken a catastrophic hit through Austerity which also closed down the North East Women's Network and there is no co-ordinator and no presence representing women. Until the pandemic hit the women VCS were trying to sustain this network but due to the burden of the pandemic on their services this is no longer possible. Women's CAE is now focused on shifting their priorities to the wellbeing and safety of their women due to domestic experiences in the home and their communities. What is astonishing is that OFSTED are still insisting in carrying out inspections in women's community education centres despite the burden they are carrying.
Adult learners may need lots of support to recognise their abilities to engage with learning. The current climate has highlighted how important support is to enabling adults to succeed in personal development through learning.
there are lots of government skills budgets for skills but the AEB is the only budget to fund family learning, low skills adult SEND, well being, how will mayors ensure these areas are funded?
Thanks for positive reply on State of Learning report. We have a template ready for this, from the IFLL Inquiry…
Sincere thanks for raising my question, Jon, and for answering it Andy. Very much appreciated.
John* - apologies for spelling your name incorrectly! Typo! Not a great mistake for me to make on a call about skills! Ha-ha! :)
Here is the link to the Independent Inequalities Commission report (Good Lives for All) that Andy just mentioned: https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/media/4337/gmca_independent-inequalities-commission_v15.pdf
What could we learn from initiatives in other countries and could weadapt some of their ideas to our own country and its regions? I’m thinking particularly of the Learning Cities movement.
Great to see lots of recognition of the value of family learning - in supporting children's attainment, improving adult skills, supporting family well-being. Our collective experience of home-schooling (positive and negative) has provided an important moment for us to prioritise this agenda.
Really really important we dont lose this point from Andy Burnham. If Adult Ed is seen as a way of supporting people whose needs cut across silos thats a big step tonight
andy your LA Community adult education providers are fantastic and ready to grow those areas - live well great idea
Lots of examples in Greater Mchr
Hitch Mental Health provision to Adult Education providers through the recovery college model?
Lifelong Learning promotes social connections and can help learners carve out a bit of time and space for themselves. Also creates community support networks.
Great idea for a 'live well service'. Incorporates the idea of good work and skills for employment, but importantly too a focus on physical and mental health, and on building community.
Very well said Susan Pember - absolutely agree with you on all counts!
Rob Hindle WEA
Completely agree that local access remains key
Love the idea of young people offering their 'art' based skills to community learning. Our women only, adult education space, shows how engaging and successful this area of learning can be.
Learning doesn't necessarily give you 'wellbeing'. It can make you a critical thinker (which doesn't always feel great !) Learning isn't just a fix a mental health pandemic. It's important for empowering people and helping them consider and articulate their position in life.
Apologies I have to leave for another meeting but please stay in touch! Tracy
Back to social purpose employability - it doesn’t have to be an either/or. Recognising that people want meaningful jobs alongside civic engagement. It’s doable - hoping to spark the discourse on Monday. Also, what Rachel O’Dowd just said.
Here, everyone’s agreeing with everyone , which is fine; but shouldn’t we maybe be asking ourselves why these arguments don’t carry the day more widely? what are the real barriers to getting LL this in place?
Also what Tom Schuller just said.
Endorsing the need to recognise learning outside the classroom - learning cities, the informal education potential of grandparents, critical thinking and reflective practice on the day-to-day tasks of living. How do we create wider cultures of learning particularly among those who have seldom engaged with formal learning?
Margaret Keane (WEA)
Apologies, I have to go. Ironically, given the discussion. because my son has an online course at 7pm and needs the laptop!
Even if the LAs can't provide LL surely they can act as honest brokers to show their citizens the whole choice - vocational, personal, artistic, cultural etc etc?
How do we win over those who don't share these values? AE and LL have to be non-partisan or they simply become a football..
co-production of learning ensures those with lived experience can bring their knowledge to providing what others need at the beginning of their learning journey.
Thank you Julie for highlighting the need to listen to those who are directly experiencing the learning. Listening is necessary but not sufficient as we know but it is soooo important.
Love your comment Rachel O’Dowd - exactly what I was thinking. Cilla’s point about ‘intelligent public opinion’ and the ‘collective good’
The issue with 'targeting' is that it becomes a deficit model and therefore something people don't want to be associated with.
Lots of good local collaborative activity ongoing…but it needs to be mainstreamed and funded to scale. We need to liberate our front line practitioners in health/well being, education, youthwork, community leaders and create forums where they work together on individual, family and community outcomes with an agreed vision. They will find ‘work around s’ as they always have….but this needs resourcing and recognition.
Great approaches highlighted in the West Midlands! Speaking to learners and providers seems obvious but it is great to know it's happening!
Spot on Julie
paul well said - we need more funding and joining up and make it community based
Rob Hindle WEA
A rich menu of lifelong learning in all communities is crucial to engage adults successfully, for skills / employment related learning as for wider education.
Staff Loan 61
great discussion thank you, need to go now - so good to hear such passionate support for adult learning. best wishes Yultan
isnt learning needed for life!
My learning hasn't always made me feel great. But it has made me more fully human. Thank you Cilla.
Well said Cilla. Enable, encourage curiosity….
Education that allows rural adult learners to stay within their communities and develop opportunities for themselves and others. If devolved funding and policy making facilitates this then great.
good to hear the acknowledgement of the importance of the 'softer skill' courses that are so difficult to fund under AEB funding.
Someone mentioned the old ‘evening classes’ in all sorts of wonderful subjects ….. music, art, physics, psychology… would the panel like to see these return?
I do Melissa
Rob Hindle WEA
Agree with Jan - LAs are part of the market now so it is difficult to maintain a culture of cooperation / collaboration which results in a better offer to communiites
1 MCA has defined PD
the bottom line is we can do lots more but we need the MCA's to lobby with us for more funds-
Apologies must leave for another meeting...
I am sorry I have to go. Thank you for a stimulating evening. We need to enable learning to go viral
well said Cilla
Surely a 'one-stop-shop' service giving an overall unbiased view of all LL opportunities (incl all the traditional AE subjects and offers from clubs and societies) is not beyond the means of all LAs no matter how cash-strapped?
>>this is a quick plug for the next Centenary Event through the University of Nottingham on the 2nd of July:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/building-community-democracy-dialogue-through-adult-lifelong-education-tickets-154712064951?aff=erelexpmlt"Community - democracy and dialogue: creative practices and new possibilities?"Each event is an opportunity to hear from fellow practitioners and learn about a range of creative practices in adult education listen to ways of re-imagining new possibilities for practice and for critical thinking about adult education.
dwp's skills funds should be passed to MCA's and LA- for example KICK START should be managed by ACE providers.
Thanks so much Philip for the mention.
And please do watch out for activism on the #AdultConversations hashtag on and after Monday :-)
Well said Alan. Starting point differs across the whole population... not everyone starts at level 3!
From the archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20001213130100/http://www.citinet.org.uk/
Cilla Coop College
Agree Spot on Alan!
I love the idea of 80/20 or 90/10 - makes a lot of sense.
Great point Alan - wasting for innovation; permitting risk
Very well said Alan.
Hi everyone, I will circulate he recording and cha t tomorrow
well said = Alan
Thanks to all the speakers from we organisers. You were great! And thank you John Bercow. Skilled chairing…..
Thanks everyone for a fascinating and important discussion.
Thank you for a fascinating discussion. So important.
Rob Hindle WEA
Excellent discussion, thank you
Thank you for tonight .
Cilla Coop College
Yes thanks all - and great chairing.
Good session - the mayoral role cd be crucial.
thank you all
Another excellent event, rich with ideas and brilliant sharing of experience in all things Adult Ed.
iPad (86)G Marsden
Great conference by Cent Commission , great chairing by John Bercow & wide range of excellent egs from mayoral and local councils. Gordon Marsden
Thanks all. Seb Schmoller
Thank you for such a stimulating evening.
Thank you to the organisers and all the speakers. Absolutely fantastic event! Love our adult learning community. We are such a passionate lot! Feeling so heartened by today’s discussion!
And thanks to John Holford!!!
Cilla Coop College
Yes thanks John and all!
Thank you everyone! Excellent passionate discussion :)
another great event thanks all
Fabulous thanks everyone!