On Tuesday I was at the British Library in London to speak at the NIACE Adult Learner’s Week Policy Conference, ‘Culture, Community and Inspiration in Informal Adult Learning’. The conference saw the launch of ‘Tough times for adult learners’ – the NIACE Survey on Adult Participation in Learning 2011 – which concludes that there has been quite a dramatic drop in the last five year period in the numbers of over 19s taking part in LSC-funded learning. I spoke, as part of a panel session, about the vast numbers of people engaged in informal learning through voluntary arts groups. Mary Lowe and Helen Jones from Voluntary Arts England ran a ‘learning zone’ within the conference, focussing on VAE’s work on arts participation and health and wellbeing. It was an interesting and thought-provoking day.
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