A petition signed by more than 10,000 people calling on the government to save adult education has been submitted to 10 Downing Street.
Shadow minister and Newcastle MP, Chi Onwurah, joined five member from the Workers Educational Association (WEA), the UK’s largest voluntary provider of adult education yesterday (October 29th) to stop further cuts to services across the country.
Ruth Spellman, Chief Executive of the WEA said: “Adult education plays a key role in helping people gain the skills, confidence and self-belief needed for work and helps older people keep their minds and bodies active throughout life. Thousands of people have joined the WEA in saying this is a vital service for our economy and our society.
Adult education, which is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, represents only six per cent of the department’s spending devoted to education and training.
This year alone, the Adult Skills Budget has already had cuts of 24 per cent and 3.9 per cent and many students are concerned that further cuts will have a devastating impact on a service, which provides skills, confidence and support to disadvantaged communities across the country.
Chi Onwurah MP said: “I know myself how learning can change people’s lives dramatically by fostering a more positive outlook, boosting self-esteem and improving employability prospects.
“Adult education is important because it helps individuals and their families break cycles of deprivation and forge better lives themselves. For many people living in low-income communities, adult education is a lifeline which helps them get the skills they need to get on in life.”
Pic from left: James Drummond, WEA organiser, Chi Onwurah, Ruth Spellman, Mona Nashed, WEA tutor, Joanna Cain, WEA deputy CEO, and former level two helping in schools leaner, Lisa Birch, aged 45.