New learning, new learners, new skills

4 November 2014

Thirteen organisations including colleges, local authorities and charities, are today helping to test out NIACE’s new Citizens’ Curriculum. The organisations – which include St Mungo’s Broadway, Leicester College, Tomorrow’s Women Wirral and Birmingham City Council – will be running pilot projects over the next 5 months to test and develop this exciting new approach. The results will mean more people are learning skills which are relevant to their lives, their needs and their work.

The Citizens’ Curriculum taps into what motivates adults to learn. It helps people experience learning which is relevant and useful to their everyday lives, focussing on skills such as digital, health, financial and civic skills, while improving their English and maths.

David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

“Far too many adults have achieved less than they can in learning. They often don’t see learning as relevant to their lives or they had such a bad experience at school they never want to learn again. Our idea for a Citizens’ Curriculum gives the learners control over what they learn and it taps into what motivates them in their everyday lives and their ambitions for the future. This will give them the skills they want and need for work and life.

“We are delighted to have the calibre and range of organisations involved in this pilot stage of the Citizens’ Curriculum. They will be working with some of the most disadvantaged people in society, who are also, often, the most reluctant learners. As we have called for in our Manifesto – a review of the funding system, personal skills accounts and more support for informal learning will all be beneficial in bringing about a true citizens’ curriculum approach.”

Amy Barnett, Basic Skills Manager at St Mungo’s Broadway, said:

“St Mungo’s Broadway works with some of the most excluded people in the country. Our clients have a hugely diverse range of abilities but many do not have skills needed for everyday life, for example over half of our hostel residents lack basic reading skills. We are determined to do something about this and piloting the Citizens’ Curriculum will help us to support more of our clients to engage in society.”

Claire Hampson, Head of Cluster, East Midlands North at Milton Keynes College, said:

“Milton Keynes College is delighted to be involved in this project as it fully aligns with our values. The work that we do within our prisons is based around reducing reoffending. We are keen to share best practice with other companies and hope to learn some new ways of engaging our learners along the way.”

Rebecca Willis, Traineeship Programme Co-ordinator at Outsource Training and Development, said:

“As one of the leading providers, Outsource Training and Development are passionate in regards to establishing and providing platforms of learning opportunity that will enable the consistent and ongoing personal development of individuals. Outsource are pleased to support and participate in the pilot of the Citizen’s Curriculum in order to establish further cycles of learning that can install amongst learners the fundamental capabilities needed for fruitful, sustainable employment and well being, thus positively impacting individuals, communities, wider society and the economy.”


The full list of participating pilot programmes:

St Mungo’s Broadway

Ashley Housing

English for Action

Leicester College

Women in Prisons

Tomorrow’s Women Wirral

Milton Keynes College – HMP Ranby

The Manchester College – HMP Deerbolt, HMP New Hall, HMP Blantyre

Outsource Training

Rochdale Borough Council

Bradford City Council

Birmingham City Council

Manton Children’s Centre