Sean Vernell (City and Islington College)

Election address

Biographical details, including service to the union
I teach GCSE English at City and Islington College

Author of:
The Manifesto for Further Education 2007:
Further and Adult Education: responding to a new social and economic climate 2008:
Defending the Welfare state -the case for public services for all 2010.
Trade Unions and the fight against austerity 2012
Fight the anti-union laws - no to austerity Yes to workers organisation 2015

UCU positions:
Branch Secretary City and Islington College 2003 - 2007, Coordinating Secretary 2007- 
London Regional Council and exec member 2003-
London Region NEC member 2007- 2014
Vice-Chair Further Education Committee 2007- 2014
NEC sub-committees: ROCC 2007- 10 and 2011 - 2014;   Education Committee 2009 - 2011
UCU observer to NUT national executive 2008-2011
Founder member of UCU Left 2007
NATFHE/UCU conference delegate 2005-2015
TUC delegate 2007-2014

No to austerity: Defend education for all

Further and Adult education is under attack. 28% cuts in Adult Education last year and a government initiated area review designed to force fewer 'more efficient' colleges means we're set for a battle for the very survival of the sector.

The government's proposals will not address the concerns of the almost one million 16-24 year olds who have no work, education or training, or the 15% of 16-65 year olds who have no qualifications whatsoever.

They will lead to the loss of thousands of teaching posts and declining course provision. We will end up with a group of 'super colleges' out of touch with the needs of their communities.  The curriculum will be narrowed at the expense of theory-based vocational education and academic courses for those who wish to continue to university. As thousands are made redundant those remaining will face workloads spiralling out of control.

Over 3 million people attend Further and Adult education colleges. One of the areas that we are most proud of is ESOL provision. Yet the Tory government first patronises migrant communities by calling on them to 'integrate' and then cuts ESOL funding slashing tens of thousands of student places.

I am standing for the NEC as I believe we must use our union's resources to defeat the government's attacks on second chance education.  To do this we need stronger campaigning branches and national action to defeat the government's austerity agenda.

We need to build a movement to defend further and adult education.

I will seek to ensure the union campaigns nationally for:

  • The defence of post-16 education where possible jointly with other public sector unions.
  • Increased funding for Further and Adult education.
  • A workload agreement.
  • £1 per hour extra for all.
  • Against the scapegoating of migrants.
  • All national union decisions to be determined, shaped and supported by regions and branches.
Last updated: 1 February 2016