Defend Coventry Adult & Community learning and nursery provision

Coventry City Council is planning to make drastic cuts across eight council services. The Coventry Adult Education Service (CAES) faces a deficit of almost £200,000, blamed on inflation and rising costs.

In CAES, the entire team of 23 highly-skilled dedicated creche staff have been informed that their jobs will be ‘deleted’. Creches for learners’ children at teaching venues will end in July.  Creche staff also act as learning support assistants within Family Learning classes.

The Government is offering an ‘alternative pot’ of funding to source privately owned nursery provision across the city, but this is unlikely to be workable for adult learners, both because of a general lack of availability and the short notice when learners enroll on courses. The Council’s own equality impact assessment accepts that

‘[a]ccess to courses by migrants and asylum seekers who require childcare facilities in order to access provision, particularly women seeking ESOL programmes, may be negatively affected by the closure of AES creche services.’

In total, 37 roles may be cut. Essential course management roles, across all curriculum areas, are proposed to be cut by about half.  Staff with years of management and teaching experience will potentially be lost.

The range of community leisure classes is also shrinking.  All fitness classes ended at Christmas 2023 and will not be replaced. For some learners, the fitness classes were a lifeline that kept them out of hospital, increased their mobility and helped them to gain or sustain employment.  In Coventry, the proportion of physically active adults is lower than the England average.  Alternative classes are now only available to the few who can afford private tuition.

The Department for Education funding guidelines state that Adult Education Budget should not be used to deliver ‘leisure only’ courses’ So, what does the future hold for the visual and performing arts in CAES?

What you can do

  • Send a message of solidarity to Coventry ACE UCU, c/o
  • Invite a speaker to your next branch meeting.
  • Pass a motion in your branch (see below).

Pass this motion

This branch notes

  1. Coventry Adult Education Service, creche provision at 6 different teaching venues is under threat of closure by July 2024.
  2. At this moment there is a potential loss of 37 roles (19.56) FTE.
  3. That additional funding went to FE colleges for pay and staffing but ACE were excluded from that additional funding.

This branch believes

  1. ACE needs these cuts reversed, the current course provision conserved in all curriculum areas, and for all staff to be employed on permanent secure contracts.

This branch resolves

  1. To send a message of solidarity to Coventry ACE members.
  2. To support a Coventry ACE campaign to reverse the cuts and to call on UCU nationally do do the same.
  3. To call on UCU to launch a national campaign to reverse the cuts in ACE, e.g. under the heading “Respect Adult Community Education”.
  4. To call for a nationally-binding framework agreement for ACE staff.

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