Value FE, don't ridicule it

Many adult educators will be dismayed at the report on problems facing adult learning (FE Focus, January 5).

"Soft liberals who would spend money willy-nilly on pink useless fluffy stuff", according to one person who was quoted.


So it would seem that the last 20 years since The Learning Age have been for little or nothing.

An alternative view of adult learning is that it has brought hope, achievement and happiness to thousands; that it works hard to address deprivation; that it has changed to keep up with the world; and that it will change to meet new priorities.

It is a flexible, market-led public service. Like all services, it can improve. But, like all public services, it needs to be cherished, not held up to ridicule, and its achievements valued, not casually ignored.

If you're in any doubt, look at the report of the outgoing Adult Learning Inspectorate Chief Inspector. He should know.

Mick Murray

Old Hackney Lane


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