Taking action in higher education

TUC told education must be put back at centre of government policy

11 September 2007 | last updated: 14 December 2015

Sally Hunt told delegates at the TUC Congress today that lifelong learning must be at the centre of the government's strategy for education and skills.

Speaking on a motion about the recent Leitch review, the UCU general secretary challenged the government to 'match rhetoric with reality' and 'put lifelong learning back where it belongs at the centre of policy'.

Condemning the cuts to adult education budgets including to ESOL English classes, Sally Hunt said: 'This is a time to invest in adult and community education for life not cut it. Yet in 2006 there were 14% less learners in further education than the previous year.

'Government policy must be about opening doors, not shutting them, yet UCU members report that enrolment for English classes is collapsing because of cuts in funding.

'The cuts in these classes hit the unemployed, the vulnerable, and those on low wages the hardest. They deny future generations the tools required to lift them out of poverty. We in the trade union movement must stand for education as the great liberator. It is a worker's right - not grace and favour to be granted by an employer.'