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Naina Kent (Hackney Adult Learning Service)

25 January 2024

ACE, woman

Election address

I work in Adult Community Education in Hackney as a student careers counsellor, specialising in progression to further and higher education for over 25 years. I am passionate about the transformative role of adult education, in providing a second chance education for the many and not the few and in winning equal pay and contracts for ACE staff.

Experience in the Union

UCU NEC Adult Community Education (ACE) 2019-current

Organiser of ESOL campaigns and parliamentary lobbies 2007-2016

UCU Black Members Committee 2017-2019

Attended Congress since 2011

Initiator and lead of the Adult Community Education (ACE) Manifesto

UCU Left member

Organising Work

I regularly attend UCU's FE Committee to affirm policy for increased funding for the Adult Education Budget and, pay and secure contracts for ACE staff.

I have developed ACE meetings and networks nationally.

I have worked on analysis of data to develop local claims, and how to work with devolved authorities to argue for better contracts for ACE teaching staff.

National ACE contract and negotiations are being developed to improve pay and workloads for ACE staff and an end to casualisation. 

I have developed policy to work with the WEA and the Centenary Commission Adult Education.

I have initiated work with MPs and the All-Parliamentary Group on Adult Education.

Respect Adult Community Education

Adult Community teaching staff deserve, as do our FE colleagues, national collective rights to higher pay and decent contracts. Many staff do not get the pay increases, but have increased workloads and insecure contracts. This can end if we fight for our branches and elect a leadership that will stand up to employers who do not want national bargaining. ACE staff deserve equal status as professionally qualified teachers.

Reverse the Adult Education Cuts

Adult Education has been denied funding and ripped apart - this has meant a 45% decline in funding for adult skills over the last decade, with participation falling to its lowest rate in 23 years - over 2 million adults lost adult education. Some 6 million adults do not have level 2 English and Mathematics qualifications. We can launch campaigns to reverse the cuts and to fight for more than the crumbs being offered to adult students.

Universal right to Adult Education

ACE provides education for the joy of learning, for the support of communities against austerity cuts, for the elderly and disabled who need adult education, for ESOL funding, for refugees and migrant workers.

I believe that adults should have a universal right to adult education at any point in their lives, and not just to gain skills for work only -but for life.

Vote for me to continue developing ACE demands for better pay and contracts and Respect for Adult Education.

Last updated: 25 January 2024