"The Toolkit" - Practice, Progess and Value
Contents Page |
Foreword by the Secretary of State |
Introduction and Summary |
What is a Learning City? |
The Learning City |
Taking the First Steps |
The Structure of this Guide |
The Three Strands of Development |
Strand One: Partnership |
Strand Two: Participation |
Strand Three: Performance |
Introduction and Summary
This guide has been developed for the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) and the Learning City Network from a qualitative research and development project managed by Sue Cara of the National Institute for Adult and Continuing Education (NIACE) and Professor Stewart Ranson of the School of Education, the University of Birmingham. Over a six month period, the project team used desk research, interviews with key people in learning cities and good practice case study analysis to arrive at this guide. A Steering Group representing the researchers, DfEE, the Learning City Network - together with representatives of the Local Government Management Board, TEC National Council, UNISON and the Local Government Association - has seen the project through to publication.
DfEE and the Learning City Network wish to place on record their thanks to the individuals and organisations involved in the research leading to the production of this guide: their contributions in this groundbreaking work have been invaluable.
The concept of the learning city is relatively recent. It was promoted by an OECD/CERI study in 1992. This became a major influence on the development of the UK's Learning City Network. The Network has grown steadily since 1996 from a small core of supporters to around 20 affiliated "Cities". It is an important forum for debate on the potential of partnerships to link lifelong learning with regeneration and local economic development. The Network's research, development and dissemination activities are a significant contribution to widening participation in lifelong learning. Through the processes described in this guide, communities will be able to unlock the potential of their people in the learning age.
Many communities are already benefiting from applying "Learning City" practice. Others are considering how to become involved so that they might benefit. This guide brings together advice and guidance for practitioners who are already involved - or who wish to become involved. It is structured around three strands of development, which were identified in the research work, namely:
Following the guidance under each of these strands will enable practitioners to build on their present position - whatever that may be. Each strand is discussed under three levels of learning - from getting organised through to reflecting on what has been achieved and measuring the gains. The guide contains essential information for all the stages from pre-start through to consolidation and growth: