In February 2021 the Centenary Commission on Adult Education will launch a media and social media campaign to highlight the pressing need for lifelong learning in the wake of Covid-19. We want your help, experiences, thoughts and stories so that we can make a powerful case for the sector – which is often overlooked both by policymakers and the media.

The campaign will focus on:

  • How adult education might best respond to the effects of Covid on elderly and vulnerable people who have been forced into isolation; on working-age people who may be on benefits for the first time in their lives; and on younger people who may benefit from playing a part in rebuilding our civic society through a range of community and development activities.
  • The positive stories of those who have worked throughout the pandemic – using adult education of whatever kind – to keep social connections going and to support and inspire vulnerable people, whether in person or online.
  • The key changes needed now in order to begin to rebuild, which the Commission believes are:
    • Adult Learning Partnerships combined with a National Adult Education Strategy;
    • A Minister appointed to help shape and drive that strategy;
    • Proper resourcing.

If you can offer any of the following, please get in touch:

  1. Positive stories of how people, especially vulnerable groups, have  been supported through adult learning and personal developments during the pandemic – either through their own grassroots efforts or through existing adult education institutions.
  2. Perhaps less positive stories of how such individuals may have become isolated over the past year, and of what they’ve had to face – what will they need in education/development terms, post-Covid, to help them get back out into their communities, rebuilding confidence and skills?
  3. Your thoughts about the current policy environment and how that plays into this agenda. How have national and local political decisions impacted your work over the past year?
  4. Anything else you consider particularly “newsworthy” about adult education in the current crisis.

If you would like to get involved, and particularly if you have human stories which you feel should reach a wider audience, please get in touch. We will be working on articles for a range of media outlets throughout January in preparation for a launch in February.

The first point of contact for responses is Fran Abrams, Chief Executive of the Education Media Centre ( Fran is working with Melissa Benn and Jonathan Petre in helping to publicise this initiative: all three are respected national education journalists with a wealth of experience in working with and in the media at all levels