Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/462/1710
LAST YEAR Lambeth College made £2.3 million cuts; another 5% in funding cuts were announced this year. If cuts like these continue for the next two or three years, adult education provision will be decimated.
The government is making huge cuts in adult education across Britain. The most vulnerable students are suffering. Courses for pensioners, ESOL students (English for speakers of other languages) and Community Education are slashed or closed altogether.
Cuts like these will harm communities like Lambeth that desperately need improved social services. New fees and massive increases in existing fees mean fewer people will have access to continuing education. The knock-on effect will be felt by all.
Changes to priorities in FE education for 16-19 year olds are a sign of the further privatisation of Adult Education. Short-term business imperatives, rather than long-term educational vision and our communities' needs, will dictate the direction of colleges in future.
Last year, Lambeth College students and staff lobbied governors and MPs and held a successful walk-out and demonstration of 500 staff and students in May. This year, we need to join with other colleges and the community to build for a common struggle to push back this government's plans.
HUNDREDS OF marchers protested against the threatened closure of Hurlingham and Chelsea comprehensive school in Fulham on 3 November. Staff, parents and many hundreds of school students were in determined mood as they took the protest to the Town Hall where, it seems, Hammersmith and Fulham's newly elected Tory council have already been assessing the site's value in preparation for a sale of land.
Dennis Charman, secretary of Hammersmith and Fulham NUT, explained that the closure was being rushed through in an underhand and conspiratorial way. Craig Griffiths, NUT rep, explained that the staff were united in their determination to keep the school open. Parent Charlie Armstrong explained that there were no alternative schools for children and that local Tory MP Greg Hands was nowhere to be seen.
In The Socialist 9 November 2006:
War and terrorism
International socialist news and analysis
Marxist analysis: history