The Raymond Williams Foundation, the Workers' Educational Association (WEA), the Co-operative College and the Universities of Nottingham and Oxford have assembled a Centenary Commission to find solutions to the adult education challenges of today.

They have identified challenges which include the ability of citizens to critically weigh and reflect on political claims made by politicians and the media, and a lack of higher skill training for people to thrive as workers while automation continues to replace more and more routine jobs.

The Commission will publish its report in November 2019, marking the centenary of the Ministry of Reconstruction’s Final Report on Adult Education report which set the groundwork for British adult education during the 20thcentury. The commission recognises that this centenary is an opportunity to reflect on the needs and possibilities for adult education today, and into the century ahead. 

The Centenary Commission is chaired by Dame Helen Ghosh, Master of Balliol College, Oxford. She has said: 'There are eerie parallels between the problems of 1919 and those of 2019, making a powerful case for a new Commission to look at the challenges. My own work as a civil servant on a variety of local regeneration programmes convinced me that learning at every stage of life is key to economic security, happiness and health and to creating a society in which everyone can flourish.'

The Commission plans to address the need for, and role of, adult education in relation to globalisation and the future of work; civic engagement and democracy; inequality and social mobility; communities, migration and identities; and demography and ageing.

The members of the Commission are Dame Helen Ghosh, Sir Alan Tuckett OBE, Melissa Benn, Lord Bilimoria, Dr Sharon Clancy, Melissa Highton, Uzo Iwobi OBE, Roger McKenzie, Sir Ken Olisa OBE, Sue Pember OBE, Paul Roberts, Dr Cilla Ross, Sir Peter Scott and Ruth Spellman OBE. 

The Commission is part of a broader 'Adult Education 100' Campaign whose Patrons include: Baroness Joan Bakewell (President of Birkbeck University of London); Dame Mary Beard (Professor of Classics, University of Cambridge); Andy Haldane (Chief Economist, Bank of England); Jon Sentamu (Archbishop of York); Michael Sheen and Ruby Wax.