Monday, 10 January 2011

Save Southwark Adult Learning Campaign - ARTS TEACH-IN


Inspired by the actions of university students campaigning against tuition fee rises, Southwark Adult Learning campaign is organising a Teach-in at the Thomas Calton Centre in Alpha Street, Peckham SE15 4NX (behind Netto’s) from 11am til 8pm on Monday 17  January.

The aim of the teach-in is to highlight draconian cuts and impossible enrolment targets which spell almost certain closure for a whole range of arts, crafts, dance, fitness and other life-enhancing courses. Beginning at 11am, the teach-in promises to be a day-long festival of arts, crafts, banner-making, drawing, painting, knitting, sewing, massage, discussion, talks, music and movement. 

The celebratory event will demonstrate the importance of adult learning to the people of Southwark. Artists, celebrities, students and the local community will come together to say NO to Southwark council’s destructive new adult-education rules and fees hikes.  We warmly invite anyone and everyone who cares about arts and education to come along whenever they can, and join in to support our stand.

  • Stop fee rises
  • No class closures
  • Restore concessions for those on benefits
  • NO to impossible targets
  • Keep our community together
Background information
The fee rises affect all courses other than basic skills. After only one class and one term, students, whether waged or not, are expected to pay a premium fee of £165 - a rise of over £100 for those previously entitled to concessions.  After a barrage of complaints and appeals, Southwark council has finally admitted that this has not been imposed by the Skills Funding Agency as management had previously claimed. The Skills Funding Agency recommends concessions for the whole year.  It is Southwark’s own decision to withhold concessions. Also, courses that cannot attract enough ‘new learners’ will be forced to close: arts and crafts course will be particularly hit.  Several courses already closed in the winter term because of these barriers.

Voices of students
Vincent: Our ‘teach in’ will celebrate the brilliant work produced by adult learners in Southwark. People have gained skills that they want to build on and to share with others. We want to show Southwark council that they are not just destroying learning but a vibrant and talented community.’

 Carlo: ‘The ceramics class inspires me. It gives me one day a week to really look forward to when I can go somewhere, be with people and do something I love – all of us love it!   If the cuts go ahead, I will again be in semi-seclusion, there will be nowhere for me to go and meet people.’

Joan: My class is very active and everyone is making progress.  What a waste to throw this away.  Southwark is pro-arts.  Why cut classes and damage creativity?  For what?  Some crazy rules?’

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