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Learning Revolution White Paper

The Learning Revolution, the latest in a long line of white papers about the skills agenda, was launched on 23rd March 2009. The focus has moved from formal adult learning to informal learning, and this paper outlines the Government's strategy to maximise the benefits that this provides.

Informal learning includes that taking place in libraries, museums, community organisations, healthy living centres, online, as well as traditional classes within colleges and schools, in which people “participate for enjoyment and are driven by their desire for personal fulfilment or intellectual, creative and physical stimulation.”  John Denham speaks of a “quiet learning revolution” that has been taking place in recent years as more people access this sort of training (hence the title).
The Government recognises that informal learning can “transform individual lives and boost our nation’s well-being”, and that it can boost confidence, provide a way back to education and be a stepping stone to further learning. So that’s why they are now turning their attention to developing this type of learning.
Key aims are to:
  • Build a culture which values informal adult learning, with a wide range of organisations promoting it.
  • Support people to drive their own learning. 
  • Improve access to information.
  • Make better use of technology.
  • Improve the choice of opportunities available.
A number of organisations have already signed the Informal Adult Learning Pledge to encourage people to sign up; improve participation and increase opportunities; find flexible ways of using existing spaces, or opening up new spaces, for learning; and celebrate success.
Other initiatives include a Festival of Learning that is planned for Autumn 2009, supported by a national promotional campaign and an ‘Open Space’ Movement, where organisations open their facilities at low or no cost to public, voluntary and self organised projects. A £20 million Transformation Fund is being established to connect organisations and develop partnerships between institutions to open up learning and address the barriers to learning.
The Government plans to facilitate the creation of an online bank, listing opportunities for individuals and flagging up free or low cost spaces and facilities as they become available.
This appears to be a major undertaking and there will be more news as things progress. This initiative could offer new opportunities for providers, particularly those in the third sector, to increase engagement with the local community, develop new partnerships and get involved in new projects to raise their profile. Another report is due out at the end of May 2009 detailing the implementation milestones, so watch this space.

Learning Revolution

Please click the PDF logo to download the Learning Revolution white paper. 

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