Adult learning for adults in social settings – FE News

the To rejoin with Adult and Community Learning

The world of adult social care is diverse and complex, from the elderly to those living with mental health issues and / or learning disabilities. The range of care settings reflects this; from those settings where intensive support is given, to residential housing and an ordinary house on an ordinary street.

The connection with adult community learning is obvious. If, however, adult community learning is to play a full role in supporting adults in health care settings, then it must offer the wide range of programs and methods of teaching and learning for which it is intended. is the best known.

Economic Value

We can prove to donors, both nationally and regionally, that these types of interventions have real economic value as well as human benefits. Demonstration of economic value is increasingly important, as community-based adult learning competes for funding with the more immediately visible economic value of high-level technical skills, leading to employment – the UK government’s goal current and many municipal authorities combined.

Adults with a care and support plan

At WEA, 81% of all learners tell us that their course has improved their well-being. For adults with a care and support plan, it is possible to take advantage of this “therapeutic” effect by designing learning interventions that are an integral part of that plan.

Examples of places where adult learning could be part of a larger plan of care include (i) light exercise, especially for people with reduced mobility (eg yoga, dance); (ii) recollection of conditions that affect memory and memory; (iii) art therapy; and (iv) cooking and nutrition courses. This type of intervention is now called social prescription, and this approach is welcome and should be encouraged.

Where possible, adults in need of care should access learning in the community, as this dispels myths about those in need of support and builds cohesion and understanding. The pandemic has hit the social service sector hard and it will take time to rebuild adult learning, especially for those living in residential settings, where the immediate priority is rightly keeping people safe and healthy. health. At WEA, we have worked hard to support 28,000 learners in over 6,000 online courses over the past 18 months. We have been successful in maintaining a community approach to learning, even online.

Adult Learners Who are Also Adult caregivers

We must not forget the needs of those providing care. A quarter of all WEA learners identify themselves as caregivers. We know it is important to learn from the side of the person they care for. It is also true that the courses for the adult in care offer a precious respite to the caregiver.

Care Workers benefiting from Adult Learning

The healthcare professionals should not be forgotten either. I have heard firsthand from health and social service workers about the huge impact taking a creative writing course has had on them, building their resilience and keeping their mental health and well-being ready for life. work. This is real proof that this type of learning has economic value, to use the current language of government and impact measurement.

To attract Workers in Social Care

WEA also plays a key role in attracting workers to the welfare sector. We are working in many areas on “Step into care” courses. These help adults interested in working in social services understand the first steps in finding employment in the sector.

Healthy and wise

“Healthy, rich and wise” is the end of a well-known proverb. If we make sure that social and health care join forces with education to help individuals, families and communities stay healthy and wise, maybe the rich party will take care of it- same.

Leveling At the top

Upgrade is the language of the day. If we are to make this a reality, we must start by finding ways to meet the needs of those most in need of support.

Recommendation 1

The government should continue to support and fund a social prescribing model and network that recognizes the economic value of community adult learning.

Recommendation 2

The DfE should support a broader vision of outcomes in the adult education budget and facilitate access to funds from the health and social service budgets to support adult learning with support needs.

Recommendation 3

The DfE should extend the right to an education, health and care (EHC) plan, currently limited to those under the age of 25, to all adults with an assessed need for care and support.

Simon Parkinson, WEA


The Campaign for Apprenticeship report, Reforming social protection for adults: integrating finance, pay, employment and skills policies in England, is based on seventeen contributions from experts in the adult social assistance sector and the education, skills and employability sectors after 16 years.

Three themes are common to most of the authors’ contributions: the scale of the adult social care sector in England, the complexity of policymaking for the sector, and the need for greater integration of funding, compensation, employment and skills.

Part 1: The Adult Social Care Sector

Part two: Strategic reforms of social protection for adults

Part Three: Recruitment under a Competency-Based Immigration Policy

  • Becci Newton, Institute for Employment Studies: Improving Pay and Job Quality in Adult Social Services
  • Karolina Gerlich, The Care Workers’ Charity: Encouraging Youth and Adults to Become Adult Care Workers
  • Chris Goulden, Youth Futures Foundation: A Career In Adult Social Services: A Youth Perspective
  • Andrew Morton, ERSA: Targeting active labor market policies to fill vacant positions in adult social services

Part Four: The Delivery and Design of Social Care Qualifications

Part Five: The role of education and skills policies after 16 years

Part Six: Adult Learning and Adult Social Services

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