everything I have done has meant working with someone else – and they are also here. If I have missed you out, let me know and I will put you in.
I aim to have this website fully up to speed by the end of the year 2019, other work allowing.
You will (eventually) find research and action in healthcare, adult social care, degree apprenticeships, the reform of education systems, museum collections, communities and learning and community work - and international projects in one or more of these contexts. And also music, photographs, films and a children’s picture book – these overlap into paid work.
Having my own website appeals to a need for order, a place where I can store all neatly; and hopefully persuade you (and myself) that everything I do, however disparate, interlocks and makes coherent sense. Let me know if you can see that, and if you can please tell me how ;-)
I have worked in adult learning since 1980, first as a teacher, a community worker, a development officer for a regional Open College Network and the National Open College Network. Fifteen years ago I started a ‘consultancy’ - Credit Works - with Carole Stott, working on nationally commissioned research and action projects for the reform of adult learning, at first with a focus on credit systems (for learning achievement) and then gradually into other areas, usually concerned with improving progress in learning at and for work.
Before that, I worked for organisations operating outside the publicly funded adult learning system, outside what I and my peers then regarded as mainstream education.
I arrived in 1985 at a new ‘Centre Against Unemployment’ (Ward, Taylor 1986), as a qualified teacher of adults, with a background in teaching ‘English for Specific Purposes’ (Dudley-Evans 1998), home from working for an oil company in the Gulf. Working at the Centre, I became interested in education that blurred lines between the ‘informal’, ‘non-formal’ and ‘formal’ and between learning and teaching. I first discovered ‘credit’ for learning while working at the Centre. I worked in and ran an inner city Leeds community project after that.
In 1996 I began working for a new regional Open College Network in West and North Yorkshire and then later for the National Open College Network (NOCN), where I gathered evidence for the UK Department for Education and Employment (NOCN 2002) about how OCN practice – using the credit device - could fulfil some of the apparent aspirations expressed in Government reform plans (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority 2004). This lead to the National Institute for Adult and Continuing Education (NIACE*) commissioning NOCN to conduct research into OCN practice and quality assurance in Adult and Community Learning (ACL) (Lillis, Sparrow 2004).
Credit Works’ aim was to influence and shape how learning achievements could be recognised in the emerging reform of qualifications systems in countries of the UK and beyond. We (Carole Stott and I) worked concurrently on research intended to show how current qualification systems might be reformed and new qualification frameworks implemented in Wales (Lillis, Stott 2005a); on testing new approaches in England and evaluating them for wider application in England (Lillis, Stott 2005c; 2005d); leading to larger scale capacity building projects with Sector Skills Councils (Lillis, Stott 2009) and eventually to testing ways of using credit to increase mobility across Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE) boundaries (Skills for Care 2013). I still work in this field. I was responsible for designing the Skills for Health Bridging Programme, producing a report on the project and future plans for its implementation (Skills for Health 2015), English and maths HEI entry issues for healthcare workers wanting to progress into regulated professions’ like nursing and midwifery, (Beyond the Brand, Skills for Health, 2017) Best practice in Work Integrated Learning for Degree Apprenticeships (Middlesex University, 2018) and currently (Summer 2019) developing a national strategy for Health Education England in Transversal (Cross-cutting) Skills for person centred care.
* In January 2016 NIACE was subsumed into the Learning and Work Institute.