From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Logo of NIACE

The NIACE (National Institute of Adult Continuing Education) was an educational charity in England and Wales, with headquarters in Leicester and Cardiff plus a subsidiary office in London. The organization, founded in 1921, was dedicated to promoting adult learning. It was the main advocacy body for adult learning in England and Wales and probably the largest body devoted to adult education in the world.[1]

On 1 January 2016 NIACE merged with the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion to form a new organisation, the Learning and Work Institute.


The main aim of NIACE was to promote the study and general advancement of adult continuing education by improving the quality of opportunities available, by increasing the number of adults engaged in formal and informal learning, and by widening access for those communities under-represented in current provision. This was summed up by the words "more, better and different".


NIACE undertook this work through:

  • advocacy to national and local government, funding bodies, industry and providers of education and training;
  • collaboration with providers in all sectors of post-compulsory education and training; and through fostering progression routes for adults seeking to develop pathways as learners;
  • a commitment to supporting evaluation and monitoring and to high-quality service;
  • securing informed debate – through research, enquiry, publication and through arranging seminars and conferences;
  • effective networking – to ensure that lessons learned in one part of the system could be drawn on elsewhere;
  • ensuring that the best of international practice was available to its members and users;
  • a commitment to being itself a well-managed learning organization.

From 1988, Alan Tuckett OBE was the Director of NIACE.[2][3]

The predecessor of Alan Tuckett was Arthur Stock. Its President from 2006 was David Sherlock CBE (former Chief Inspector of the Adult Learning Inspectorate), and before that Christine King (Vice Chancellor of Staffordshire University), and before that Richard Smethurst (Provost, Keble College, Oxford).

Centre for Research into the Older Workforce[edit]

The Centre for Research into the Older Workforce (CROW)[4][5] is researching ways in which employers, government, unions and the European Union can encourage older workers to delay retirement. It is the only research centre in Europe with a specific remit to look at older workforce issues.

Its specific research interests include:

  • Age discrimination in work (which is unlawful in Europe and in the UK)
  • Flexible working and flexible retirement
  • Training, learning, and career development
  • Employer policies and practices in relation to older workers.

CROW has carried out research for the UK Department of Trade and Industry[6] and Department for Work and Pensions [7] on age discrimination. It is also involved in European funded research into the effects of gender and qualifications on work in later life and knowledge management in the automotive industry. CROW has researched older workers' attitudes towards work and retirement. It found that 80% of workers between 51 and 70 would consider delaying retirement, but most would only do if they could work more flexible hours. This research was quoted in a statement by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Professor Stephen McNair was the Director of CROW which, from August 2006 to September 2012, was located at the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE). In 2012, it moved to Middlesex University Business School London.

Merger to form Learning and Work Institute[edit]

With effect from 1 January 2016 NIACE merged with the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion to form a new organisation, the Learning and Work Institute.


  1. ^ Directgov Information on UK public services [1]
  2. ^ College of Teachers Awards Retrieved 4 August 2011
  3. ^ NIACE Blog
  4. ^ NIACE
  5. ^ South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) Briefing Paper on CROW
  6. ^ BIS Department for Business Innovation & Skills
  7. ^ Department for Work and Pensions Report

External links[edit]