'Cuts Will Sink Adult Education Courses'; the Most Vulnerable Students Will Be Hit, Warns College Head

The Evening Standard (London, England), October 7, 2010 | Go to article overview

'Cuts Will Sink Adult Education Courses'; the Most Vulnerable Students Will Be Hit, Warns College Head


Byline: Anna Davis Education Correspondent

THOUSANDS of London's most vulnerable students could have their courses cancelled, the head of London's biggest adult education college warned today.

Peter Davies, principal of City Lit, said the college faces being "sunk" by government cuts.

It currently gives former drug addicts, single mothers and pensioners the chance to get qualifications they missed out on at school, while thousands of working Londoners also use the college to study part-time in the evenings.

Mr Davies warned government cuts will "irretrievably damage" the college, forcing it to double fees and cancel courses that don't make money. He said adult education colleges are expecting cuts of up to 40 per cent when the Government announces its comprehensive spending review.

He said: "Of course we have prepared for some cuts, but not in the region that we have now been led to believe we should expect. I fear that instead of weathering the storm, we are facing being sunk."

City Lit, based in Covent Garden, has 27,000 part-time students. It uses some of the money from its evening courses, such as Spanish and photography, to subsidise courses that don't make money, such as lip-reading classes and training for homeless people to get into work.

It also provides basic maths and literacy classes for a fee of about [pounds sterling]1 an hour.

Mr Davies warned that all of these courses could be threatened. He said: "We don't know if the Government will protect certain parts of the college or not. If there is a 40 per cent reduction in funding it will be difficult to protect anything. If these cuts take place we would have to double our fees."

It comes as Britain's largest adult education charity launched a campaign against cuts. …

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