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Opening up more opportunities for adults in England

Adult Education: Too important to be left to chance


Research reports and outputs - now available

Adult Education: Important for Health and Well-Being - Main report and Executive Summary (A report commissioned by the Institute for Adult Learning in England, published in January 2018)

Adult Education. Too important to be left to chance - Main report (A report commissioned by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Adult Education, published in July 2016) (Summary report also available)

Adult Education. Too important to be left to chance. Adult Learner Survey report

Evidence submitted to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Adult Education through the IER formal 'Call for Evidence'

Literature Review: 63 sources of relevant research, policy and practice designed as an 'aide memoire' and/or online catalogue for both individuals and organsations


The Warwick Institute for Employment Research (IER) was commissioned by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Adult Education to undertake a study to scope the need, reach and areas for policy and practice development for adult education concerning disadvantaged adults. This evidence-based Inquiry gathered the views of key stakeholders, partners and providers on their top priorities for adult learning in 2016 and over the next 5 - 10 years.

The aim of this study was to scope the need, reach and areas for policy and practice development for adult education concerning disadvantaged adults. The focus of the research was on a wide range of adult learners who may be out of work, in work, transitioning between roles and those who are older learners. This involved analysing both quantitative and qualitative findings that fed into the APPG answering the following research questions:

  • How can a greater priority be given to adults’ views to support a demand-led?
  • What practices and models of learning best motivate non-traditional students to keep on going with their studies while other from a similar background drop-out?
  • What do we know already about the added-value, cost-effectiveness and impact of adult education?
  • What policy development is needed to secure the future of adult learning?

In 2017, a follow up research study on Adult Education: Health and Well-Being was commissioned by the Institutes for Adult Learning. This aimed to increase awareness of the benefits that adult education can bring to the nation’s health and well-being. It also as designed to stimulate further dialogue on how authoritative central and devolved government policies and practices can ensure that adult education remains a strategic priority so that
there is increased demand for, access to and take-up of provision. It is high time for greater recognition of the powerful contribution adult education makes to individuals and families’ health and well-being. There is compelling evidence on the far-reaching benefits (World Health Organisation, 2016; UNESCO, 2016; Hughes & Adriaanse, 2016). Over the next fifteen years and beyond, countries will face a complex set of challenges relating to issues such as an ageing population, mass migration, employment, inequality, environmental sustainability and accelerating technological changes. Adult education is “a central component of public policies that can help address these
challenges.” (UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning). The message is clear - individuals who continue to learn throughout life are likely to build additional brain reserves - this can lead to healthier lives and healthy lifestyle choices. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Well-being (July 2017) also highlights that arts and creative activities can make an invaluable contribution to a healthy and health-creating society. The report findings (2018) set out some key challenges and opportunities for Secretaries of State, Ministers, and those responsible for NHS ‘Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships’ (STPs), NHS Improvement, Health and Well-Being Boards, Clinical Commissioning Group (CCGs), Local/Combined Authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) need to have greater access to the evidence of successful policies and practices in improving health and well-being through adult education.

IER was also commissioned to lead on the Call for Evidence for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Adult Education.

For further information contact: Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, deirdre dot hughes at warwick dot ac dot uk

tel: 0044 (0) 7533545057

 

Project team:

Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, Principal Investigator and Associate Fellow IER

Sally-Anne Barnes

Karen Adriaanse

Project sponsor:

All Party Parliamentary Group for Adult Education and Institutes for Adult Learning (IALs)

Project duration:

April 2016 - January 2018