Hundreds of students and lecturers gathered outside parliament on the strike day, in protest at cuts to English for Speakers of Other Languages (Esol) provision.
The Tories will remove funding from the vast majority of Esol students in September.
“If students can’t learn English it affects their whole lives,” said Tara, an Esol teacher. “I think the government’s doing this because they think it’s easy to target immigrants.”
Sivapalan, an Esol student from Sri Lanka, said, “I want to learn English to communicate with my children. I want to be able to mix with English people.”
Sofia said, “There’s no freedom for us if we have no Esol. We can’t live here properly. We need English to go to work, go to school, to go everywhere.”
Dawn Stafford, an Esol teacher, pointed out that the cuts will hit women hard. “Most of my students are mothers and they learn English to help their children,” she told Socialist Worker.
“If they can’t study English it doesn’t just affect them, it also affects their children.”