Liverpool protest amid fear of national 'slash and burn' of adult education

13 July 2006

UCU will be among a growing chorus of voices in defence of threatened adult education courses at a rally in Liverpool tomorrow (14 July).

UCU says Liverpool is just one of many communities expecting widespread adult education cuts in September - and that disadvantaged user groups, including the disabled, will be hit especially hard. Women on low incomes are also likely to be among the most affected.

UCU will join Louise Ellman MP, students, politicians, tutors and providers at a public rally protesting against £3 million cuts in adult education services in Liverpool, where thousands of course places will be lost with widespread staff redundancies, breaking up adult learning provision recently rated as 'outstanding' by Ofsted, the education watchdog.

Roger Kline, head of equality and employment rights at UCU, will address the meeting. Today, he said: 'The government's approach to adult education across the country is slash-and-burn. It is misplaced and shameful. Virtually no one in education supports the plans to seriously cut funding for adult education. The policy undermines attempts to build a learning culture that has proven it can help many tens of thousands of adult learners develop confidence and skills. Many of the course cuts will affect some of the most disadvantaged members of our communities such as those with disabilities and women no low incomes. I hope to see dozens of local campaigns emerging against these cuts, like this one in Liverpool.'

Maire Daley, a member of UCU's national executive, who works at Liverpool Community College said: 'Colleges like Liverpool have no choice but to cut courses because of the government's draconian funding measures. This is despite the Ofsted report which gave specific praise in relation to the effectiveness of the College's adult education provision.

'The government have systematically failed to get the measure of the real value of adult education in places like Liverpool - it is not the criticised 'holiday Spanish' or flower arranging that is being lost, but rather the lifeline for a second chance for thousands of adults to make a real difference to their employability and their quality of life.'

Last updated: 15 December 2015