Government policies force Bradford College to slash adult learning

15 May 2007 | last updated: 14 December 2015

Bradford College management and UCU today jointly condemned government policies which are jeopardising 124 adult education courses.

Courses at risk include art, Asian dressmaking, cookery, computing, care & beauty, psychology, counselling, plumbing in the home, and car maintenance. Up to 93 teaching staff could be made redundant.

UCU says the cutbacks would have a big impact on the local community, particularly the Asian community. The union has requested a full 'race impact assessment' and is taking up the issue with local MPs.

The college today confirmed that its 2007-08 funding allocation involved a £3.2m cut in cash available for adult and community courses. This is a result of government policy which is reducing funding for what it considers to be non-essential adult and community learning courses, says UCU.

Adult education has recently been 'devastated' according to NIACE (The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education - England and Wales) with a million course places lost in the last two years.

UCU will consider how to respond to the threats to jobs and is fully engaged in a process of consultation to avoid any compulsory redundancies. But the union recognised that the college has been forced into a difficult financial position.

The joint statement said: 'The management of Bradford College and the college's academic staff, represented by UCU, jointly express regret and disappointment at changes in government funding which may have a serious impact upon the adult and community learning provision at Bradford College.

'We echo the views of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) that adult education is being "devastated" and we urge the management and staff of other colleges and their local MPs to speak out and call on the government to rethink its plans for adult education.

Adult and community education contribute vital elements to the lives of local citizens and to the vitality and cohesion of our community. They are not peripheral or marginal elements of education to be abandoned for the needs of employment skills training. All of these elements are essential for our society's progress.' 

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