November 2019 will mark an important educational centenary: the publication of the Ministry of Reconstruction’s Final Report on Adult Education. The report, largely authored by R.H. Tawney, set the groundwork for liberal adult education in Britain 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.

What we want to do

In partnership with the University of Nottingham, the Workers Education Association, and the University of Oxford we propose a programme of activities, centred on the centenary of the 1919 Report. The programme will recover and re-evaluate the twentieth-century history of adult education, and set out a vision for a life-wide adult education for the century ahead. It will comprise four overlapping and interacting themes:


▪ A forward-looking panel, composed rather like the Ministry of Reconstruction Adult Education Committee, “To consider the provision for, and possibilities of, Adult Education (other than technical or vocational) in Great Britain, and to make recommendations” – but to do so for our times.


▪ A series of research and educational projects around the history and record of adult education. We envisage a mixture of projects: small and large, funded and unfunded, national and local. Some might be conducted by educational organisations, classes and groups: for instance, the members of a WEA class might choose to examine the development of adult education in their own locality; a university department might suggest it as a topic for MA or BA projects.


▪ A series of archival and curatorial projects to preserve the records of adult education, and to make them more publicly accessible (through digitisation, etc.)


▪ A programme of activities, educational and “knowledge exchange”, which engage various publics in discussions about the role and significance of adult education. These will be overseen by a Steering Group which will co-ordinate the activities across all four themes, and maximise their impact.

How you can get involved

We are looking for expressions of interest in principle to join with us in this programme of activities, whilst you can read more about the background of the report and our plans here

If you'd like to get involved with the project please get in touch below

Contact us

photo credit to COD Newsroom taken at College of DuPage STEM Professional Development Workshop Teaches the Art of Escape Games 2017 119