Sarah Foster (Brent Start)

ACE, Woman

Election address


Work and Study

  • have worked in Adult and Community Education (ACE) for 30 years
  • subject areas - ESOL and Family Learning
  • current work - teaching and co-ordinating Family Learning in Skills for Life department at Brent Start.
  • extensive experience of community based education and its challenges
  • studied MSc in Education Power and Social Change in 2011

UCU and Campaigning

  • active UCU (NATFHE) member throughout teaching career
  • Branch chair/secretary for Brent ACE (NW London) for 5 years (first 4 years held jointly). During this period I have built confidence within the branch and we have successfully exerted a significant influence on management locally in relation to negotiations over contracts, OTL policies, restructures and minimising the impact of cuts
  • I have mobilised branch members to join regional and national campaigns, sometimes for the first time and together we have attended protests and lobbies, written to MPs, made banners and informed/involved students.
  • campaigner with Action for ESOL.
  • regularly attend London Region meetings.
  • currently working with other UCU activists to make contact with more ACE members, to increase ACE presence at regional meetings and make National ACE conference a success.

Why I am standing for a the  NEC
This is a critical time for ACE. There is an urgent need to defend the breadth and scope of adult education and oppose cuts in services and jobs. UCU has an important role to play in ensuring this vulnerable sector continues to provide vital educational opportunities for some of society's most marginalised groups. My longtime commitment to adult education and trade union activity has led me to decide that now is the time to take on a role that will ensure ACE has the strong voice within UCU.

A campaigning union
I am a UCU left supporter. I strongly believe that UCU needs to be a campaigning organisation, defending services and jobs through working with our communities and students and linking with other organisations, including other Trade Unions, to fight cuts, stand up to racism and oppose attacks on our rights.

If elected I will campaign for..

  • ACE to have a higher profile within UCU at regional and national level
  • an approach to building the strength of the UCU ACE sector that works for small scale services with widely dispersed members
  • an active approach to recruitment to existing branches and also to supporting isolated members in establishing new ones.
  • linking UCU ACE campaigns with other community campaigns (such as Action for ESOL)

ACE provides a service for students from some of the most marginalised groups in society, whose voices often go unheard. ACE members within UCU should not go unheard. ACE needs a voice ! 

Last updated: 1 February 2016