Evening classes must be saved, or face the consequences, says Labour MP

The destruction of adult learning is leaving communities without hope 

Tom Peck
Friday 13 January 2017 17:33
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Labour MP David Lammy said he owed everything he had to his mother's adult education
Labour MP David Lammy said he owed everything he had to his mother's adult education

The government has said it will lay out further proposals for adult education after it was criticised cuts to evening classes that has reduced mature learning by an estimated 40 per cent in the last six years.

Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy raised the matter in the House of Commons, highlighting the fact that a lack of learning opportunities for adults leaves people "trapped in low-income, low-skilled work, and where they do not see a way out, we are playing a very dangerous game if we do not listen and act."

Education Minister Robert Halfon said the government ‘knows that Further Education words’ and that it would produce further proposals to improve the situation.

David Lammy said: "The Government have cut adult education by 40% in the last six years and evening classes have pretty much disappeared across the country. The political class is obsessed with university but education isn’t one size fits all and I will be calling on the Government to bring back night schools.

"Working class people used to be able to do part-time courses after work to get new skills, move into a better job and build a better life for their family. Putting all the jargon to one side, that is ultimately what ‘social mobility’ means to ordinary people.

"Too many people are trapped in low-paid work and for those who missed out as teenagers there is no real prospect of moving up the ladder. I owe everything that I have to the fact that my mother had the opportunity to take an evening course that enabled her to get a better job and support a family as a single parent and a breadwinner. Sadly these opportunities are no longer available to working people after years of funding cuts and political neglect"

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