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Campaigning Alliance for Lifelong Learning

Rising charges and course cut backs have seen two million learners' places lost from further and adult education in England since 2005. Now groups representing students, staff and local communities have come together to campaign for the right of everyone to access to learning irrespective of class, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, asylum status or employment.

CALL logoWe have founded CALL, the Campaigning Alliance for Lifelong Learning because we believe that affordable access to the life changing opportunities provided by education is the hallmark of a civilised society.

CALL is a non-party political alliance. The only qualification for joining is commitment to our six founding principles below.

You can download these campaigning tools below.

CALL gets off to a flying start

CALL got off to a very positive start at its September launch

Nearly 200 people attended the launch event and heard impassioned speeches from the five founding organisations, NUS, NIACE, UCU, UNISON and WEA. There were also speeches from Bob Fryer, author of Learning for the 21st Century, and Kelvin Hopkin, MP for Luton North and co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Further Education and Lifelong Learning.

Mr Fryer, a former principal of the Northern College for Residential Adult Education, told the launch: 'We need to document the serious crisis that faces adult learning. There is the restriction of finance but more important is the distortion of aims and functions of organisations as they twist and turn to get the limited funding available.'

He highlighted the widespread closures of lifelong learning departments in higher education over the last decade.

Kelvin Hopkin MP spoke of his personal experiences teaching 'Preparation for Retirement' courses in further education. He told the launch: 'I was inspired by the thirst amongst older people for learning but that is now constrained by funding and the availability of courses.'

There were many speeches from the floor representing all sectors involved in adult learning, further education, non and informal adult learning. Higher Education, ESOL, students and pensioners.

CALL held a lobby of parliament in February 2009Over 40 organisations have signed up as supporting organisations including the National Federation of Women's Institutes, NATECLA, the Refugee Council, the Muslim Council of Britain, the Church of England, and eight trade unions, with more in the pipeline. In addition many local adult learning centres, voluntary groups and union branches have joined the campaign.

To view podcasts of the main speakers and find out more about CALL, including how to join, visit

Six founding principles

CALL believes our education system should provide:

  1. quality of access to high quality education for all learners (regardless of: class, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, asylum status or employment status), including a statutory right to learning in the workplace
  2. universal access to basic skills, ESOL and ICT courses and a first level three qualification regardless of age
  3. learner, teacher and community  involvement in all levels of decision-making about their learning wherever it takes place
  4. learning for personal wellbeing and development and the maintenance of local authority adult education
  5. a path out of poverty and disadvantage including widening participation in higher education and the provision of a second chance later in life
  6. a stable, motivated and rewarded workforce of professional practitioners.


Model press release.doc669.5 KB
Model leaflet.doc676.5 KB
Model letter to MP.doc667.5 KB
Founding principles.doc744.5 KB
Advice on local activities.doc663 KB
Supporting organisations.doc662.5 KB