In touch with working class

23rd September 2005 at 01:00
The Workers' Educational Association's management team and its trustees were delighted to see Graham Fowler's piece in FE Focus (TES, September 9).

I wanted to write to endorse the points he made and confirm that, within and across the association, our staff, volunteers and students share the current concerns about prospects for adult education.

As many readers will know, the WEA has had its own difficulties over the past couple of years. After much work we are now able, once again, to argue the case for adult education for a social purpose from the kind of non-conformist position Graham described.

Graham's article considers the participation of workers in WEA provision over the last century. Definitions of working class are frequently contested. However, in respect of educationally disadvantaged adults, the WEA reaches through their communities and workplace organisations. I would argue that well over half our provision is reaching working-class people.

This is not to disagree with Graham's welcome comments. The WEA is keen to join with others to promote, advocate and defend learning which engages with adults, makes education valuable to them in the varied aspects of their personal, family, community and working lives and gives them influence over what they learn.

Peter Templeton

Director of education

Workers' Educational Association

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