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12 October, 2009

Right to speak: encouraging public speaking for the Learning Revolution

We are thrilled with the renewed interest in adult informal education. So often this kind of learning, which does so much to draw individuals from all backgrounds back into education and sometimes into community involvement for the first time, has been marginalised. Therefore we are pleased to be part of the government's Learning Revolution by nurturing confident public speaking.

Last month we saw the publication of the ground-breaking report Learning Through Life and its call for a new citizens' curriculum for adults. Such a curriculum might empower individuals to engage more effectively in their communities and other settings; it would promise to build on the statutory Citizenship curriculum in secondary schools and on the more recently introduced education programmes for those seeking naturalisation in the UK.

This month we are proud to be part of the government's Learning Revolution, a month-long festival of activities that will draw all kinds of people into learning new skills and developing new interests, building their capacity to engage with others in the process. In particular, we will be working with Speakers Bank, Speakers Trust, ARC Theatre and the wider speaking and debating community to enable adults who have never felt able to speak with confidence in public before to have their say through a range of workshops and events.

The confidence to speak in formal or public settings is a key citizenship skill: one that builds self confidence and self-esteem, develops the capacity to drive social change and enhances employability. For this reason we are keen to play our role in the proposed National Campaign for Public Speaking, and are in discussion with others in this field. We shall be supporting the campaign's launch later this month as part of our efforts to produce a real legacy from this month's activities.


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