Spacey helps stage the City Lit Oscars

26th May 2006 at 01:00
"Maybe it's not quite the Oscars," said Peter Davies, principal of City Lit college, to the actor beside him.

Kevin Spacey, the Academy Award winner who now runs the Old Vic Theatre in London, might well have agreed about a ceremony featuring actresses singing the inaugural speech made by former South African president Nelson Mandela.

Mr Spacey was handing out the City Lit's adult students awards as part of Adult Learners' Week. He praised the winners for their achievements.

He said: "It's amazing that we have the kind of programmes here that we do.

I am an adult learner. I am learning every day and I want to learn throughout my life.

"What's great here is there is no age limit. I personally am thinking of signing up for your maths-for-the-terrified courses.

"I've never run a theatre before. There are no classes for that, unfortunately. I would encourage you next year to create one.

"It takes courage to return to the classroom as an adult, and I know that you will have been an inspiration to those around you."

The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education, which runs Adult Learners' Week, has expressed some concerns that its awards were sometimes stuck on the note of triumph over tragedy.

It was not quite the case at City Lit in central London. Nominations also went to a woman who fulfilled her life's ambition of learning the cello in retirement, and to an elderly woman whose new skills in digital video won her a place in film school.

But many had overcome great difficulties, including two of the college's students, Peter O'Dowd and Andrew Campbell, who won national awards from Niace.

Mr O'Dowd had a stroke at 20 which left his right side paralysed and robbed him of speech. He completed an art and design foundation course and won a place at Central St Martin's college to study graphic design.

Mr Campbell, a former security supervisor, lost his job after an 11-year addiction to crack cocaine took its toll. He took part in City Lit's Inside Knowledge scheme, which helps long-term homeless people and ex-offenders to gain vocational qualifications.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now