As we were going off on our summer leave after a tough year, there came the announcement that the government were going to make a further 3.9% to the Adult Skills Budget (on top of the 24% cut already announced) and total withdrawal to funding the to JCP ESOL Mandation courses. At Bradford College, these courses represent 1/3 of the work carried out by ESOL Bradford lecturers.
So, when we thought it was safe to go on holiday, ESOL staff are now back in a redundancy pool.
Action for ESOL are taking steps to try to campaign against these really damaging cuts. Please see the http://actionforesol.org/
Locally, there is a splinter group Action for ESOL Yorkshire that is trying to co-ordinate action we can take across the region since this is going to hit all colleges.
The principal of Kirklees College has come out against the cuts: https://www.tes.co.uk/news/further-education/breaking-views/dear-mr-cameron-college-principal-warns-pm-danger-posed-esol
We are calling on the new principal of Bradford College to do the same and support Action for ESOL.
We are also inviting you to continue to help us campaign to protect the quality and provision of ESOL and adult education.
One suggestion to fill the gap left by proper investment is that volunteers and neighbours can help teach ESOL: https://www.tes.co.uk/news/further-education/breaking-views/opinion-how-ease-pressure-a-creaking-esol-system.
So, what can you do?
- Add your name and circulate the national petition to stop the 38 Degrees ‘Don’t Cut ESOL Funding’ petition: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/protect-our-most-vulnerable-esol-learners?source=facebook-share-button&time=1438781520
- Sign and circulate the accompanying paper petition
- Write to your local MPs and councillors
- Write to the principal of your local colleges
- Join the Action for ESOL Yorkshire Facebook group
- Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be added to our email list
- Look out for further campaign stalls and activities
If you are an ESOL lecturer, continue having your summer break but don’t forget that your union is here to support you. The contacts in the previous post still apply.
When you come back, be ready to continue the fight for quality jobs and education in FE.
Defend Education at Bradford College