Following my adjournment debate on night schools and joint letter to the Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Robert Halfon on adult education, yesterday (27th February) I spoke at the launch of the Save Our Adult Education campaign. I was delighted to join FE Week, my Labour colleague and Shadow Further Education and Skills Minister Gordon Marsden MP, Workers' Educational Association Chief Executive Ruth Spellman and HOLEX Director Sue Pember to call on the Government to come up with a proper strategy and funding arrangement for adult education and lifelong learning.
I argued that we need to increase the funding given to adult education and adult learning in the context of Brexit, where we will face a huge loss of talent and skills and need to focus on closing the skills gaps that are holding back our economy. Night schools provide a real opportunity for adult learners who may have missed out at school first time round or cannot afford to quit their jobs to embark upon costly higher or further education courses.
The benefits of lifelong learning are not just economic however, and I am a firm advocate of night schools because I have seen firsthand the impact that they have on individuals in terms of confidence, empowerment and improving mental health and well-being.
For more information on my position on night schools please see here.