Community groups, students, teachers and a wide range of local people from Hackney, Tottenham and Islington in north east London came together on Thursday of last week to a local launch meeting of CALL (Campaigning Alliance for Lifelong Learning). Around 120 people packed into the meeting.
Three students spoke about the transformative impact of education on their lives. Kela from the College of North East London (CONEL) was a nurse who, after a serious accident, was able to retrain through evening classes and find a role as a volunteer teacher.
Novelette, a young single mum from Tottenham, had left school with no qualifications, but found her voice and her confidence through English and creative writing classes, and now has a university degree.
Claudia, an english for speakers of other languages, (Esol) student from Hackney college, spoke on the way in which attacks on Esol provision threaten to make her and other second-language speakers feel marginalise d.
The platform speakers were Paul Mackney, founder member of CALL, Hatice Guden from the Hackney Refugee Association, Sean Vernell of the UCU union and Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington North.
Paul Mackney spoke about the devastating effect of the withdrawal of funding from adult and community education. CALL have called a lobby of parliament for 25 February next year.