Educational Centres Association (ECA)

Associate Member

Bernard Godding MBE (Chair & CEO)

Ebbisham Drive 21

NR4 6HQ Norwich, United Kingdom

Tel.: (0044) 1603 4649 37

info (at)

Mission statement

The ECA is a registered charity and membership organisation whose mission is to promote, support and provide lifelong learning opportunities. The ECA believes that education is a means of sustainably promoting social inclusion to ensure that everyone has a fair chance to realise their potential and to actively participate in society.

Main activities

Its main areas of work are adult and community learning including intergenerational and family learning for active citizenship, environmental sustainability, health and wellbeing and arts and craftsas well as staff development. We work at local, national and international levels. The Association has contributed to the development of Adult Education policy, especially in England and in the dissemination of informationrelating to the field of Adult Education with special reference to communities and disadvantaged populations.

Also since 2001 it has participated in the international Salzburg Talks and subsequently Future Forum organised by the Austrian Association (VÖV) contributing to policy development based on extensive practical development.

International projects

Flexi-Path (funded by Leonardo)
Year: 2009 (Jan)
Duration: 22 months (Sept 2010)
Partners: CREA (Spain), DIE(Project Co-ordinator, Germany),ECA (UK) Eesti Vabaharidusliit (Estonia), IREA (Romania), SVEB (Switzerland) and Universitá degli Studi di Firenze (Italy)
Final Publications: Flexi Path Toolkit (downloadable in 6 languages) and "Flexible Pathways Towards Professionalisation, Senior Adult Educators in Europe" Anne Strauch, Miriam Radtke, Raluca Lupou (Ed.) Publisher: Bertelsmann W. (Dec 2010) Language: English, ISBN-10: 3763947345

TeddyBear (Twinning the Elderly Disadvantaged and Disabled with the Young by Enabling Active Reminiscence) (funded by Grundtvig)
Year: 2004
Duration: 3 years (2007)
Partners: Cooperativa Itaca (Italy), ECA (Project Coordinator, UK), Sastamalan Opisto (Finland) and Andragoški center Republike Slovenije (Slovenia)
Final Publications: Case Studies in LLinE journal Volume XV1, Issue4/2009

Community Sector Coalition: Routes to Empowerment. A community sector perspective

Grundtvig Success Stories: Europe Creates Opportunities. 2007 ISBN 978-92-79-05114-2.

TEACh (Teaching European Active Citizenship) (funded by Grundtvig)
Year: 2004
Duration: 3 years
Partners: ECA (UK), VÄSTRA NYLANDS FOLKHÖGSKOLA (project Coordinator, Finland), Italy, France, Hungry, Cyprus, Denmark
Final Publications: Case study in Mobility Creates Opportunities, European Success Stories. 2008 ISBN 978-92-79-07765-4

Subsequent Grundtvig training courses were delivered with an ECA tutor in a number of member states.


Flexible Pathways Towards Professionalisation, Senior Adult Educators in Europe - Anne Strauch, Miriam Radtke, Raluca Lupou (Ed.)
Written by the Flexi-Path project partnership (including Bernard Godding of the ECA) this publication describes the ideas and the theoretical background behind the project as well as introducing the Flexi-Path Toolkit and looking towards future opportunities.

Flexi-Path Toolkit - A Guide to Creating a Professional Portfolio to Demonstrate High Level Competences of Adult Educators by Bernard Godding, Trish Kreft and Karen Read on behalf of the Flexi-Path project team.
The Toolkit gives users the resources to be able to demonstrate their high level work-based competences by providing a step by step method for analysing complex professional situations in which competences have been (are) demonstrated. It facilitates professional development and helps to set a clear agenda for Continuous Professional Development activities. This includes guidelines for planning developmental activities which will enable users to work towards acquiring additional competences.

Mabel Tylecote: Champion of Adult Education by Ronnie Wilson. A tribute to Mabel Tylecote (1896-1987) adult educationalist and promoter of adult education, politician, and activist. Includes material from Derek Legge MBE, Joyce Hennessey, and Bernard Godding.

Supporting Adult Learners Locally by Dr John Payne.
Case studies in Information, Advice and Guidance using evidence from London and Brighton to show how working in partnership can make learning more accessible.

A Lifetime in the Education of Adults by Alan Skinner MBE.
A tribute to Ray Lamb MBE (1908-1999) exemplar and promoter of adult learning, former Warden of the adult education centre in Walthamstow, former Honorary Secretary of the ECA. Includes material from Peter Baynes, Ronald Wilson, Peter Boshier, Harold Marks HMI, Bernard Godding, Brian Rainey, Brian Leighton, Peter Clyne, Prof Brian Groombridge, Prof Konrad Elsdon.

Consulting with ACL Users - Some Guidelines by Dr John Payne.
A fresh, 'no-nonsense' and realistic view of managing community involvement in adult learning in the present era of audits, inspections and reviews. Ever-present in this report is the major element of successful collaboration: the open, honest and meaningful partnership.

Grey Friars: Opening the Door to Adult Education by Dorothy Schwarz, Maggie Freeman and Alan Skinner. Foreword by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC.
The story of an adult education centre told through inspirational examples from just a few of the tens of thousands of people who have gone through the blue door on Colchester's High Street to learn, work or support adult education. Both remembering the past and looking to the future, this book urges stability of funding for centres which truly serve the community. Published by Access Books (an adult education charity, no 1095713) with support from the ECA.