A big thank you to all for a great ESOL and Adult Education Parliamentary lobby yesterday, hosted by UCU London Region and Action for ESOL. 600 students, teachers and community representatives came from Greenwich Community College, ELATT (East London Advanced Technology Training), Barnet & Southgate, Ealing, Hammersmith, Lambeth, Hackney, Leeds, Brent, Tower Hamlets, Morley, Westminster Kingsway and City & Islington Colleges/ ESOl providers. It was a fantastic day. There was such a long queue outside waiting to get in that an impromptu march up up to BIS for a demo outside their offices also took place!
- The students were amazing, passionate, determined and not just demanding ESOL but a right to be here – to have “dignity”, as Rosa, a student from Hackney College, said.
- Mohammed, a student from Tower Hamlets, said he wanted “to speak English, I don’t want interpreter”.
- Nathaniel, ex-Lambeth College student and from the Eritrean Community Centre, spoke about the rights that ESOL learners wanted very eloquently, that ESOL is not just about language but about having rights to many other aspects of life.
- Jasmina from the Women’s Refugee Association spoke about why ESOL is important for women and for their families as a whole.
- From UCU London Region, Sean Vernell spoke about how immigration has been integral to Britain, and the fight for ESOL is about the fight for Adult Education as a whole.
Sean Vernell – UCU London Region
Jasmina Dimitrijevic – Refugee Womens Asociation
Rupa Huq MP – Ealing Central & Acton
Sue Pember – HOLEX
Chai Patel – Migrants Rights Network
Dr Liz Lawrence – UCU President
Maritza & Maria – Entry 1 ESOL students from Morley College
Gerry McDonald – Principal Tower Hamlets College
Steve Mulligan – NIACE
Nathaniel Ghilazghi – Eritrean Community Centre Camberwell + former Lambeth College ESOL student
Mohammed Sharif Mahmoud – ESOL student from Tower Hamlets College
Jenny Rodin – NATECLA
Shakira Martin – National Union of Students VP FE
Rosa Delgado Pinoe – ESOL student from Hackney College
Ian Ashman – Principal Hackney College
also present at the lobby, and meeting constituents outside the committee room:
Matthew Pennycook MP – Greenwich and Woolwich
Richard Burgon MP – Leeds
Andy Slaughter MP – Hammersmith
Once again the students, by coming in numbers, put ESOL and FE into the news!
Many of the MPs who said they would come were called away to be at Prime Ministers Question Time and the vote on George Osborne’s Fiscal Charter, which committed Government to make more cuts! List of Labour MPs who abstained from voting against the cuts.
Thanks to everyone who supported the lobby and came on the day.
Now come to the next Action for ESOL meeting on Monday 9th November, 6.30pm, Morley College, to talk about what we do next.