November 2019 will mark the centenary of the Ministry of Reconstruction’s Final Report on Adult Education (1919).
The report set the groundwork for a liberal approach to adult education for the rest of the 20th century. Its centenary is, we believe, a vital opportunity to reflect on the needs and possibilities for adult education today and into the century ahead. Britain in 1919 faced immense economic, political and social challenges. Today’s challenges, though different, are no less profound.
A programme of activities will mark the centenary. As part of this, and to stimulate a wide-ranging debate and open up new avenues for the development of adult education for the century ahead, we are setting up The Commission on Adult Education.
The Commission will be made up of leading public figures and adult educators. It will include young, emerging as well as established figures. Its remit will be similar to its 1919 predecessor’s: “To consider the provision for, and possibilities of, Adult Education in Great Britain, and to make recommendations.” It will explore the relevance, for the 21st century, not only of liberal education for adults, but of the many other forms it takes across today.
To feed into this we are opening the debate widely through a series of questions that follow in this survey and we are encouraging everyone (individually or collectively) to respond to the questions that they feel they can contribute to.