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Class strategies, how individual members of class fractions tactically gain advantage in fields including education, have been used to analyse schooling and initial post‐compulsory education. In this paper, class strategies are applied to adult education in considering participation across social classes. Using empirical data from a biographical study of adult education I show how different notions of ‘positionality' are employed in three cases. Uniquely, I consider ruling class strategies in adult education and why the consideration of a ruling class might alter our perspective on differences between working‐ and middle‐class learners. Finally, I apply these perspectives to the policy arena and discuss how pernicious class strategies might actually be enhanced by new ‘stealth' policies in adult education.