Adult education centres at risk

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The Independent Online
THE FUTURE of many adult education centres is under threat after a dramatic fall in enrolment in many parts of the country, writes Ngaio Crequer.

Susan Dickinson, of the Educational Centres Association, said the future of liberal adult education courses was at risk. 'Many of the centres are struggling. They do not have enough students . . . some are being forced out of existence.'

Most of the adult education centres she had contacted in Wales, Leeds, Manchester and Brighton had reported fewer enrolments, particularly for literacy and numeracy courses. Many students prefer further education colleges, which can offer cheaper, subsidised courses. Accredited courses which lead to exams receive subsidies, but other leisure-based courses do not.

'Once these courses go, they will not be revived. These courses have a social value and give people the confidence which gives them access to more formal courses,' Ms Dickinson said.