Old & Active: Maintaining the older person’s health activity and employment Mainstreaming later life learning into older people’s policy Jim Soulsby 8th February 2007 - Birmingham
How can we ensure that the educational needs of older people are included in wider Government policy? How can we encourage the gerontology and ageing networks to look much more seriously at the role, place and value of education in later life?
A Sure Start to Later Life: Ending Inequalities for Older People “This is all about increasing quality of life for all, including the most excluded where the biggest gains can be made, and will be achieved by creating a cycle of well-being through participation, leisure, education, improved health and ensuring older people are valued in families, the workplace and communities” Phil Woolas, MP, Minister of State for Social Exclusion and Baroness Kay Andrews, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
Later Life Learning is an element in: • Link Age Plus Pilots • Opportunity Age • Quality of Life indicators • CSCI inspection procedures
So whilst we have the tacit agreement that later life learning is valuable we don’t really have the political and administrative structures or commitment to make it happen!
NIACE’s work has been in promoting education in later life as: • A major social policy issue and not simply the responsibility of DfES and its agencies • A process to understand & manage change rather than a product to be enjoyed in “retirement” • As a necessary element of every Government policy that impacts on older people
Asserting the benefits of learning in later life? • Decision making • At times of transition • Establishing identity or re-asserting • Maintaining well-being
Asserting the benefits of learning in later life? • Assisting engagement • Becoming or staying active • Understanding impinging issues • Retaining independence • Enhancing employability
Current & recent participation in learning by age, 2006 Green Shoots – The NIACE Survey on Adult Participation in Learning 2006
Future intentions to learn, by age, 2006 Green Shoots – The NIACE Survey on Adult Participation in Learning 2006
Education is transformational “This is the first chance in my life to study. For me education is special. It is important to know what is happening in the world. Without education there is no prospect in life and life would be blind”
Education is transformational “My experience of re-entering education has been nothing short of life saving. It laid bare wounds that I did not know I carried, it gave me a taste of the humility necessary to reach down and pick myself up; it provided me with the stimulus, the passion, the hunger, the tenacity and the strength to build my life. I will not readily relinquish my hold on salvation”
Learning in Later Life: Motivation and Impact (2000) “80% of learners aged 50-71 reported a positive impact from learning in areas such as their enjoyment of life, self confidence, and their ability to cope with events such as divorce or bereavement, while 28% reported an increased involvement in social, community and voluntary activities”
Jim Soulsby Development Officer Tel: 0116 2042843 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org NIACE 21 De Montfort Street Leicester LE1 7GE