On 8 March 2021 The Daily Telegraph publishes a letter from leading figures in public life, culture and education on the importance of adult and lifelong learning. Signatories include former cabinet ministers and ministers of education, university vice chancellors, leaders of adult and further education, heads of Oxford and Cambridge colleges, most university professors who research adult learning, and leading trade unionists. For reasons of space The Daily Telegraph could not print all the 137 signatories; they are listed below.

As schools and colleges return, we must not neglect the millions of adults whose lives have been upended by the pandemic.
The government’s ‘skills revolution’ is valuable, but only a start.
We need skills for life, not just ‘skills for jobs’.
Broad and flexible adult education builds community, strengthens mental health, and helps people lead fulfilling lives.
Nine million adults in England still struggle even with the essential skills of reading, writing, and computing.
We urgently call for: a properly funded national strategy led by a dedicated lifelong learning minister; a community learning centre in every town; money for individuals and groups to shape their own learning; new regional partnerships between local and regional authorities, voluntary groups, universities and FE colleges; restoration of the Union Learning Fund; and requiring universities to provide adult education in their communities.
Post-pandemic investment in wider adult education will pay real dividends. No-one must be left behind.

Dame Helen Ghosh, Chair of the Centenary Commission on Adult Education; Master of Balliol College, Oxford
Sir Alan Tuckett, Vice-Chair of the Centenary Commission; former Chief Executive of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education

Other signatories are:

Former Members of the Cabinet and Education ministers:
Lord (David) Blunkett, former Secretary of State for Education & Employment
Lord Boswell of Aynho, former Conservative MP and Education Minister;
Baroness (Virginia) Bottomley, Chancellor University of Hull; former Secretary of State for Health and for National Heritage;
Sir Vince Cable, former Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills;
Lord (Jim) Knight of Weymouth, former Minister of State for Education and Skills;
Baroness (Estelle) Morris, former Secretary of State for Education;
Lord (Chris) Smith, Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge and former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport;
Baroness (Ann) Taylor, former Leader of the House of Commons and Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee.

Other leading politicians:
Lord (Neil) Kinnock, former WEA Tutor/Organiser, Leader of the Opposition and European Commissioner
John Bercow, former Speaker of the House of Commons
Daisy Cooper, MP, Liberal Democrat spokesperson on Education
Baroness (Sue) Garden of Frognal, Liberal Democrat spokesperson on Further & Higher Education, House of Lords
Margaret Greenwood, MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Adult Education
Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central
Ian Mearns, MP for Gateshead, member of House of Commons Education Select Committee
Baroness (Julie) Smith of Newnham, Fellow of Robinson College, Cambridge
Lord (Mike) Storey, Liberal Democrat House of Lords spokesperson on Education
Gordon Marsden, former Shadow Minister for Higher & Further Education and Skills

Former leading civil servants:
Lord (Bob) Kerslake, former Head of the Home Civil Service
Dame Helen Ghosh, former Permanent Secretary at the Home Office

Mayors and officials of regional Combined Authorities:
Dan Jarvis, MP, Mayor of Sheffield City Region;
Jamie Driscoll, Mayor, North of Tyne Combined Authority;
Julie Nugent, Director of Productivity and Skills, West Midlands Combined Authority.

Vice Chancellors and former vice chancellors:
Professor Tim Blackman, Vice-Chancellor, The Open University
Professor Professor Jackie Dunne, Vice-Chancellor, Newman University, Birmingham
Professor David Latchman, Vice Chancellor, Birkbeck University of London
Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor, University of Wolverhampton
Rev. Canon Professor Peter Neil, Vice-Chancellor, Bishop Grossteste University, Lincoln
Professor Sir Rick Trainor, Rector, Exeter College, Oxford; former President of King’s College London and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich
Sir Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor, Sheffield Hallam University
Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Vice-Chancellor & Principal, Canterbury Christ Church University;
Sir Peter Scott, former Vice-Chancellor, Kingston University and Editor, The Times Higher Education Supplement
Sir Anthony Seldon, former Vice-Chancellor, University of Buckingham
Mary Stuart, Vice-Chancellor, University of Lincoln

Heads and former heads of Oxford and Cambridge colleges:
Dame Helen Ghosh, Master of Balliol College, Oxford and Chair of the Centenary Commission on Adult Education
Will Hutton, journalist; former Principal, Hertford College, Oxford
Baroness (Helena) Kennedy, QC, author of seminal report on Further Education, Learning Works, former Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford
Professor Jonathan Michie, President of Kellogg College, Oxford and Chair, Universities Association for Lifelong Learning
Dr Alice Prochaska, former Principal, Somerville College Oxford
Professor Sir Rick Trainor, Rector, Exeter College, Oxford
Baroness (Jan) Royall, PC, Principal of Somerville College, Oxford
Lord (Chris) Smith, Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge and former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Other Higher Education leaders:
Baroness (Joan) Bakewell, DBE, President, Birkbeck University of London
Mary Curnock Cook, CBE, former Chief Executive of UCAS
Tim Melville-Ross, CBE, former Chair, Higher Education Funding Council for England
Paul Manners, Director, National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement
Professor Graeme Atherton, Director, National Education Opportunities Network (NEON)

Leaders of Adult and Further Education:  
David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges
Simon Parkinson, CEO and General Secretary, WEA
Dr Susan Pember, CBE, Director of Policy, Holex, the professional body for Adult Community Education and Learning
Dame Ruth Silver, President, Further Education Trust for Leadership, former Principal of Lewisham College
Stephen Evans, Chief Executive, Learning & Work Institute
Liz Bromley, Chief Executive, NCG, one of UK’s largest FE college groups
Kirstie Donnelly, MBE, Chief Executive, City & Guilds Group
Mark Malcomson, CBE, Principal and Chief Executive, The City Lit, London Yultan Mellor, Principal, Northern College of Adult Education, Barnsley
Mel Lenehan, Principal, Fircroft College of Adult Education, Birmingham
Ros Morpeth, OBE, Chief Executive, National Extension College
Dr Cilla Ross, Principal, Co-operative College
Andrew Cropley, Principal and Chief Executive, Vision West Nottinghamshire College
Helen Hammond, Principal, Working Men’s College, London
Paul di Felice, Principal, Ruskin College, Oxford
Gabrielle Flint, Principal, Richmond & Hillcroft Adult & Community College
Dr Andrew Gower, Principal & Chief Executive, Morley College, London
Dr Rob Hindle, Senior Area Education Manager, Yorkshire and Humberside Region WEA
Suzanna Jackson, Warden, Mary Ward Settlement, London
Dame Moira Gibb, Chair of Governors, The City Lit.
Jol Miskin, adult educator; former Regional Education Manager, WEA
Ruth Spellman, OBE, former General Secretary, WEA
Nigel Todd, Chair of Trustees, The Co-operative College
Professor Sir Alan Tuckett, Vice-Chair of the Centenary Commission, former CEO of NIACE
Matt Waddup, Co-founder, Right2Learn campaign
Jill Westerman, CBE, Vice Chair, Further Education Trust for Leadership, former Principal of Northern College, Governor of the City Lit.

Public figures and opinion leaders:
Baroness (Joan) Bakewell, DBE, President, Birkbeck University of London
Helen Barnard, Director, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Dr Sharon Clancy, Chair, Raymond Williams Foundation
Rod Clark, Chief Executive, Prisoners’ Education Trust
Sir Jon Coles, Group Chief Executive,United Learning Trust
Uzo Iwobi, OBE, Chief Executive, Race Council Cymru
Judith Judd, Former Editor, The Times Educational Supplement
Grayson Perry, CBE, RA, artist
His Honour John Samuels, QC, President, Prisoners’ Education Trust
Philippa Perry, psychotherapist and author
Professor Anna Vignoles, CBE, FBA, Director, Leverhulme Trust (in a personal capacity).

Trade Union leaders:
Frances O’Grady, General Secretary, Trades Union Congress
Lord (John) Monks, former General Secretary, Trades Union Congress
Roz Foyer, General Secretary, Scottish Trades Union Congress
Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary, National Education Union
Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary, National Education Union
Dr Jo Grady, General Secretary, University and College Union
Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, General Federation of Trade Unions
Dave Ward, General Secretary, Communication Workers’ Union
Sarah Woolley, General Secretary, Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union
Kate Dearden, Head of Research, Policy & External Relations, Community the Union
Kate Hudson, Head of Equality, Education & Development, Communication Workers Union
Deborah Lawson, Assistant General Secretary, Community union
Roger McKenzie, Assistant General Secretary, Unison
Jim Mowatt, Director of Education, Unite the union
Tom Wilson, former Director of Unionlearn

Leading academics and researchers on adult learning:
Ann-Marie Bathmaker, Professor of Vocational & Higher Education, University of Birmingham
David Barton, Emeritus Professor of Language and Literacy, Lancaster University
Greg Brooks, Emeritus Professor of Education, University of Sheffield
Ellen Boeren, Professor of Adult Education, University of Glasgow
Lalage Bown, OBE, Emeritus Professor of Adult Education, University of Glasgow
John Bynner, Emeritus Professor of Social Sciences in Education, UCL
Claire Callender, OBE, Professor of Higher Education, Birkbeck & UCL
Frank Coffield, Emeritus Professor of Education, UCL
Diane Coyle, Bennett Professor of Public Policy, University of Cambridge
Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography, University of Oxford; Vicky Duckworth, Professor of Education, Edge Hill University; Karen Evans, Emeritus Professor of Education, UCL
John Field, Professor Emeritus of Lifelong Learning, University of Stirling
Alan Felstead, Research Professor, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
Alison Fuller, Professor of Vocational Education and Work, UCL
Andy Green, Professor of Comparative Social Science, UCL
Francis Green, Professor of Work and Education Economics, UCL
Mary Hamilton, Professor Emerita of Adult Learning and Literacy, Lancaster University
John Holford, Robert Peers Professor of Adult Education, University of Nottingham
David James, Professor of Sociology of Education, University of Cardiff
Hugh Lauder, Professor of Education and Political Economy, University of Bath
Professor Ewart Keep, Emeritus Professor of Education, Training and Skills, University of Oxford
Lorna Unwin, OBE, Professor Emerita of Vocational Education, UCL
Dr Melissa Highton, Assistant Principal for Online Learning, University of Edinburgh
Simon McGrath, UNESCO Professor of International Education & Development, University of Nottingham
Michael Osborne, Professor of Adult and Lifelong Learning, University of Glasgow
Gemma Moss, Professor of Literacy, UCL
Diane Reay, Emeritus Professor of Education, University of Cambridge
Sheila Riddell, Professor of Inclusion and Diversity, University of Edinburgh
Susan Robertson, Professor of Education, University of Cambridge
Professor Tom Schuller, formerly Head of the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, OECD and Director, National Inquiry into the Future of Lifelong Learning (2008-2010)
Rob Smith, Professor of Education, Birmingham City University
Linden West, Professor of Education, Canterbury Christ Church University
Tom Sperlinger, Professor of Literature and Academic Lead for Engagement for the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus, University of Bristol
Howard Stevenson, Professor of Education, University of Nottingham
Richard Taylor, former Professor and Director of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning at Cambridge and Leeds Universities
Lyn Tett, Professor Emerita of Community Education, University of Huddersfield
Professor Maria Slowey, Director, Higher Education Research Centre, Dublin City University
Selina Todd, Professor of Modern History, University of Oxford
Professor Sue Webb, former Director of Lifelong Learning, University of Sheffield
Volker Wedekind, Professor of Vocational Education, University of Nottingham
Miriam Zukas, Professor Emerita and former Executive Dean, Birkbeck, University of London