A Permanent National Necessity...

Adult Education and Lifelong Learning for 21st Century Britain

The Adult Education 100 campaign #AdultEducation100

Early in 2018 a group of adult educators, recognising the historic importance of the 1919 Ministry of Reconstruction Adult Education Committee’s Final Report, set up the Adult Education 100 campaign. We wished to encourage a programme of activities, centred on the centenary of the 1919 Report, which would both recover and re-evaluate the twentieth-century history of adult education, and set out a vision for life-wide adult education for the century ahead.

The campaign has four interacting themes:

i. The ‘Centenary Commission’, composed rather like the Ministry of Reconstruction Adult Education Committee, and with essentially the same brief.

ii. Research and educational projects around the history and record of adult education, ranging from adult education classes and undergraduate student projects to research funded by research councils.

iii. Archival and curatorial projects to preserve the records of adult education.

iv. ‘Knowledge exchange’ activities to build public discussion about the role and significance of adult education.

The campaign’s Steering Group, chaired by John Holford (Robert Peers Professor of Adult Education, University of Nottingham), also consists of Sharon Clancy (Chair, Raymond Williams Foundation & Senior Research Fellow, University of Nottingham), Phil Coward (Regional Manager, Workers’ Educational Association), Jonathan Michie (President, Kellogg College & Director of Continuing Education, University of Oxford), Cilla Ross (Vice Principal, Co-operative College), and Nigel Todd (Chair of Trustees, Co-operative College & WEA Ambassador).

We have been delighted that a number of leading public figures and adult educators agreed to be patrons of the campaign. They are:

Baroness Joan Bakewell, President of Birkbeck University of London

Dame Mary Beard, Professor of Classics, University of Cambridge

Lalage Bown, Professor Emeritus of Adult & Continuing Education, University of Glasgow

Andy Haldane, Chief Economist, Bank of England

Mel Lenehan, Principal, Fircroft College

John Sentamu, Archbishop of York

Sir John Hayes, MP

Michael Sheen, Actor

Ruby Wax, Comedian and Mental Health Campaigner

Working closely with partners from across the adult education world, the #AdultEducation100 campaign is co-ordinating a programme of events to communicate and discuss this Centenary Commission Report and its recommendations over the months following publication.

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