Dear Leicester Vaughan College members and friends,
I am very sorry that I am unable to join you at the fifth anniversary event of LVC but am sending you all a message of support. For five years we have continued to work for our objectives of supporting adults in Leicester and beyond to gain access to part time higher education courses with face to face tuition in supportive environments. It is important that we keep up our commitment to this despite the difficulties that we have encountered.
The numbers of adults gaining access to education, including higher education, continues to decline as the barriers to participation increase. This is contributing to greater inequalities in the UK and in Leicester. The newly published report on ‘Learning and skills for economic recovery, social cohesion and a more equal Britain’ states ‘We need education institutions that collaborate to establish barrier free development opportunities for people from all corners of society so that they can build more meaningful careers and be more resilient to the ever more rapidly shifting tides of technology’.
We also need these opportunities so that adults can participate in education which respects their situations and contributes toward their quality of life in a democratic society which addresses the big challenges of climate change, growth in migration and international crises.
LVC needs allies and partners and it has a strong one in the Leicester City Council’s Adult Education Service. The next years will I hope see that partnership strengthen and new ones develop.
Please do enjoy the celebration tonight of what has been achieved and be ready and determined to continue to work, campaign and build alliances to create more opportunities for adults from all backgrounds to enter or re-enter, and succeed, in exciting and fulfilling new learning journeys.