The Value of Adult Learning

Adult learning contributes significantly to people’s well-being and life satisfaction, according to research commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. But how does learning benefit us so much, and what support is available for adults interested in studying new subjects and developing new skills?

Learning is a lifelong experience: it doesn’t end with leaving school or even graduating from university. Those who enjoyed learning at school are most likely to continue studying but, with encouragement and support, even those who were not academic at school can discover new enthusiasm for learning in later life.

This year the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) reported that people who take an adult learning course, ranging from an art class to improving IT skills, have better health, are less likely to be depressed and visit their GP less regularly.

Furthermore, learning a language or brushing up on your maths skills could boost your life satisfaction in the same way as a £750 a year pay rise.

Learning was found to provide significant boosts to self-confidence, while raising people’s aspirations; adult learners, it seems, are more likely to further their career and expect higher salaries.

People in their fifties and sixties could also enjoy great benefits, with learning being found to offset the natural decline in wellbeing as people age.

The Skills Minister, Matthew Hancock, said: “This research shows how adult learning, whether it’s a course to further someone’s career or an evening class for enjoyment, has the potential to change lives for the better, whilst also creating a highly-skilled nation that will help businesses to get the skills they need to grow and boost our international competitiveness.”

An earlier survey, published by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), also concluded that parents taking part in adult learning is a powerful tool for raising children’s achievement levels.

Home-School Tutoring has been supporting adult learners since 1984 by providing home tutoring in various subjects at times to suit our clients’ needs. As well as offering tuition in core subjects such as English and maths, whether for GCSEs or other qualifications, or simply for self-improvement, Home-School Tutoring strives to offer home tutoring in as many subjects as possible to cater for all interests and needs. Our Subjects page provides the full list that includes all GCSE and A Level subjects as well as accountancy, art, basic skills, business studies, computing, foreign languages, law, literacy, numeracy, psychology and musical instrument tuition.

NIACE has recently reported a big increase in independent and online adult learning alongside a significant decline in those learning at college or university. While the internet provides great flexibility over where and when people are able to study, many people taking ‘e-courses’, as well as those attending traditional evening classes, often find one-to-one tuition invaluable for improving understanding and addressing specific points or issues.

Margaret Sweetland, the UK Proprietor of Home-School Tutoring, says: “One-to-one tuition is a very effective way to learn. Whether adult learners require support for a course or qualification they are taking or just wish to pursue an interest, our home tutors can help learners to build their confidence and learn their chosen subject at their own pace.”

Home-School Tutoring’s Area Advisors are available to provide advice to adult learners considering home tutoring, and match them with the tutor best suited to their needs. Contact details for local Area Advisor can be found by using the Tutor Search facility.

Home-School Tutoring is also currently inviting applications from teachers and specialists interested in joining Home-School Tutoring as adult learning tutors. See Become a Tutor for details.