Cuts for North East adult learning courses delayed by a year

image caption, Joan Hassan said completing a cookery course gave her the confidence to train as a teaching assistant

Adult learners are celebrating news that funding cuts to a trust’s courses have been postponed for a year.

The Workers’ Education Association (WEA) in the North East of England saw protests in March as it could lose its annual grant of £1.3m.

However, the North East Mayoral Combined Authority (NEMCA) has decided to put the cuts on hold to allow time to „transition” to the new way of applying for the money.

Joanne Hassan, who used the service to gain confidence to return to work, was among those who welcomed the news.

WEA received funding from the North Tyne Integrated Authority to deliver a range of courses in sectors such as textiles, arts and technical skills.

As North of Tyne was replaced by the North East Mayoral Combined Authority (NEMCA), the new body said WEA would no longer receive a grant but could bid for contracts through a competitive process.

Simon Parkinson, chief executive and general secretary of the WEA, said of the delay to the cuts: „We recognize that no funding is guaranteed beyond the end of the year, although we also understand that the situation will be reviewed.”

image caption, The Labor Education Society conducts classes for about 1600 people in the North East

Ms Hassan, from Newcastle, said she had low self-confidence before taking the cookery course, but the experience encouraged her to train as a teaching assistant.

„I started slowly again, but now that I’ve developed the skills, I’m ready to work.”

A spokesperson for NECMA said it had „heard feedback from learners, providers and stakeholders”.

„In the first interim year of devolved funding, five more providers, including WEA, have been agreed to receive funding to support their learners to minimize disruption to our communities.”

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