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UCU adult and community education manifesto

7 November 2022

I'm pleased to launch UCU's new manifesto for adult and community education (ACE).

Adult and community education has a powerful and positive role in society. As well as empowering people to take charge of their lives, connecting communities and benefiting mental health and well-being in challenging times; lifelong learning provision is an essential part of any 'levelling up' agenda that aims to reduce inequality and create a more balanced economy.

Our members in the adult and community education (ACE) sector are highly skilled, experienced education professionals, rooted in the community whose tireless work to support a diverse range of learners benefits the whole of society. 

Yet despite warm words from governments and an overwhelming acceptance of ACE as a public good, essential for social cohesion, the sector has been decimated in recent years with funding cut by over 50% since 2010. Services have been cut and skilled teachers made redundant or on low pay and insecure contracts. 

That's why UCU is launching this manifesto for adult and community education which sets out the need for a properly funded national strategy that recognises the essential and unique role of ACE and values the professionalism and expertise of staff in the sector. 

This week is also Lifelong Learning Week so it's a good opportunity to share this message with colleagues and help support our campaign to defend and expand adult education.

Thank you.

Jo Grady
UCU general secretary

Last updated: 8 November 2022