The Inquiry into the Future for Lifelong Learning

Niace is sponsoring this enquiry. Sir David Watson is the Chair of the Inquiry Commission and Tom Schuller is running the programme.

Tom has his own enquiry blog which reflects aspects of the Inquiry’s progress and illuminates the scope. You can also sign up for the Inquiry Bulletin.

The overall goal of the Inquiry is to offer an authoritative and coherent strategic framework for lifelong learning in the UK. This will involve:

Articulating a broad rational for public and private investment in lifelong learning;

A re-appraisal of the social and cultural value attached to it by policy-makers and the public;

Developing new perspectives on policy and practice.


The Inquiry will organise itself around ten core themes:

Prosperity, Employment and Work

Demography and Social Structure

Well-Being and Happiness

Migration and Communities

Technological Change

Poverty Reduction

Citizenship and Belonging

Crime and Social Exclusion

Sustainable Development

The roles of the Public, Private and Voluntary Sectors

Many are interesting in their own right. I hope that the employment area will get given its due, as lifelong learning is becoming a core component in sustaining employability.

There is not much output yet as it is early days but there will be papers and draft sections of the report made available as the Inquiry moves forward. This is a good time, socially and economically to get something like this off the ground.

Of note, is Bob Fryer’s briefing paper on Lifelong Learning, Citizenship and Belonging.


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