In 1984 the Government invited NIACE to set up a new Unit for the Development of Adult Continuing Education, to explore and make recommendations about development areas in adult learning.  I was appointed to Head the Unit, and remained its Head until it was merged into the Further Education Unit in 1992.

During that period we worked on a range of topics, exploring issues and development options and making recommendations. In some cases we undertook development projects. On each topic we convened an expert Development Group to guide the work, and during the 8 years, over 1000 people took part in these.

UDACE employed 16 full time development staff, and a further 34 people on short contracts for specific development work. They were supported by a team of 19 administrative and support staff, led by Sandra Silver.

The Topics which we pursued were:

  • Educational guidance for adults (with our key policy proposals in Challenge of Change ) – led by Vivienne Rivis, with Judy Alloway, Ruth Hawthorn and Carole Barnes
  • Voluntary/statutory relationships in adult learning – led by John O’Shea
  • Learning and older adults – led by Roger Harrison
  • Admissions to higher education – led by Sue Otter
  • Access to education for adults – led by Toni Fazaeli
  • Strategic planning and management for adults – led by Bob Powell
  • Performance and quality assurance in adult learning – led by Bob Powell
  • Open College networks – led by Caroline Mager
  • Learning outcomes and competence – led by Kathryn Ecclestone

All 70 UDACE publications are stored at the British Library. They can be found by searching the main catalogue for “UDACE” at https://www.bl.uk/  

The Work of UDACE summarises the Unit’s 8 years of work. It was published in 1992, when UDACE was merged with the Further Education Unit.