Hardworking families thank Cameron for help but plead “Please make it stop”

Pride's Purge


The hardest working families across the UK are so grateful to David Cameron and the coalition government for the help they’ve had over the past 4 years that they are urging the government to go and help somebody else instead.

Mrs Susan Jones from Nottingham told Pride’s Purge how grateful she is to Mr Cameron for helping her work harder and harder for less and less:

Thanks to Dave I’m working more than ever while my wages have got less, my rent and electricity bills have soared and I if I didn’t have a food bank to go to, my kids would starve. So cheers Dave! But can you go and help someone else now. Please.

Many households in Britain have also praised the way life for hardworking families has improved under the coalition. Bob from Bristol said:

Now my contract’s been changed to zero hours I get to spend a lot more quality time with my kids…

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PIAAC and Trojan Horses

“Education prepares us for more than work. It has a social purpose that is more important now than ever.”

Lifelong Learning Matters

The political fallout of the alleged “Trojan Horse” controversy in Birmingham has replaced the results of the European elections in the news headlines. Extremism, mistrust and intolerance are increasingly common threads in reported news.

Meanwhile, few people are commenting on findings from the OECD’s recent PIAAC Report that relate to adult learning and its effects on tolerance, citizenship and social cohesion, although the mainstream media reported on the report’s comparisons of adult literacy and numeracy levels in different countries.

LLinEAn article on Active citizenship and non-work related aspects of PIAAC by Ricarda Motschilnig, published in LLinE, explores these under-reported findings. The full article contains data but the extract below gives a flavour of the author’s commentary.

European societies are becoming more complex, and generally, there are no simple solutions to political problems. Populist parties present simple answers and, in order to be able to see behind these strategies, Europe needs people…

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Women overcoming disadvantage through education

Best wishes for the launch conference in Nottingham on 4 June. And I hope that this campaign is a successful one,
It seems obscene that in 2014 a campaign to empower women, through education, to overcome disadvantage should be necessary but it is good that the WEA is meeting this need.

Lifelong Learning Matters

We are launching our “WEA Women overcoming disadvantage through education” campaign with a conference in Nottingham this Wednesday, 4 June. It’s at the ICCA, Hucknall Road, Nottingham, NG5 1QZ, with registration at 10.00 am for a 10.30 start and a 4.00 pm finish.


As well as our own General Secretary and CEO, Ruth Spellman and WEA colleagues, speakers will include:

  • Dr Finn Mackay, feminist activist and WEA Ambassador
  • Dr Anita Franklin from the University of Sheffield
  • Cheryl Turner of NIACE
  • Baroness Frances D’Souza, the Lord Speaker House of Lords

You can find more about the conference here.

The WEA has recognised, included and valued women’s contributions and has improved women’s lives through education for over 110 years, so the campaign is a continuation of a long tradition.

Albert Mansbidge established “An Association to promote the Higher Education of Working Men” in 1903 with his wife Frances, using…

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I’m NOT prejudiced – some of my best friends are UKIP

We’ve all scurrilously been thinking something along these lines. Well here it is in black and white.

Pride's Purge


I have been extremely upset recently to discover some people have been accusing me – and Pride’s Purge – of being prejudiced against UKIP people.

This is not true!

I have always believed everyone is equal and deserves the right to be treated with respect – even people who are UKIP.

In fact some of my best friends are UKIP.

Well, maybe not my best friends but I’ve met a few UKIP people and I can tell you that they are just as normal as other British people and really are no different from the rest of us.

Of course it’s true that I have in the past publicly criticised some UKIP people who refuse to properly integrate into the rest of UK society and prefer to stay in their own UKIP ghettos in places like Hampshire and Oxfordshire.

And it’s true that I have pointed out that many UKIP people – similar to other minorities such as EDL…

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Lev Vygotsky – in tweets

It is good to hear that the work of the educational psychologists and thinkers we had to study for B.Ed a hundred years ago has not been entirely eclipsed and forgotten. Even better that their work is being evaluated in the context of applicability to adult, therefore, life long learning.

Lifelong Learning Matters

Twitter isn’t all about what people had for their lunch. This week Tim Taylor (@imagineinquiry) tweeted his summary of a book on Lev Vygotsky’s work. Although the focus is on children’s education, the Russian psychologist and educational thinker’s work is relevant in adult learning too.

Vygotsky suggests that the experience of learning on an individual basis is not as rich or deep as learning alongside someone who is more knowledgeable about a subject and that learning should have a social context. It’s interesting to think about how online learning might be designed in response to this and how children’s experience of school-based education might affect their later attitude towards learning as adults.

Summarising a book in fewer than 20 tweets is quite a challenge but Tim conveys some quick basics about Vygotsky, giving a brief but useful taster. For non-tweeters and members of TLATLA (The League Against Three Letter…

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