Huge Support for FE Week’s ‘Save Our Adult Education’ Campaign


Hundreds of lifelong learning advocates attended the launch of FE Week’s ‘Save Our Adult Education’ campaign in parliament yesterday. Speakers on the day included: Robert Halfon MP, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister; Gordon Marsden MP, Shadow Minister; David Lammy MP, former Minister and adult education campaigner; Ruth Spellman, Chief Executive of the WEA; and Sue Pember, Director at HOLEX and former top adult education civil servant.

FE week is calling on the Government to deliver three key policy changes:

1. Introduce FE maintenance grant loans for adult learners, which would make retraining possible for many more older people, by helping cover their living costs while studying, something that is already available to mature students in higher education.

2. Consult on an adult education strategy

3. Write off advanced learning loans debt, which leaves blameless adult learners unable to complete their course if their training provider goes bust.

Speaking at the event, Ruth Spellman, CEO of the WEA, highlighted the need for a national lifelong learning strategy and a joined up approach to learning provision.

Sue Pember, Director at Holex made the case for lifelong learning as an infrastructure investment: “We know as educators that it works. It improves not just productivity, it helps to improve health...We need a proper cross-government adult education strategy that lasts 20 years.”

Full coverage of the event is available via FE Week here.