Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Adult education courses set to return

ADULT education classes could return to Watlington.

ADULT education classes could return to Watlington.

They used to be held at Icknield Community College until about eight years ago when Oxfordshire County Council withdrew funding.

Now the council has told Watlington Parish Council it would be willing to contribute to the cost of restarting the classes.

Parish councillor Tim Horton said: “I think the classes were lost as part of a cost reduction by the county council and there was a hope in the community that people in the Watlington area might go for classes in Wallingford and other places but that hasn’t happened. What has happened is there is a very successful University of the Third Age group but this doesn’t meet the needs of younger people and people who are still starting to establish careers.”

He said the classes would not be on the same scale as they were previously due to the cost involved but they would still provide a valuable service.

Cllr Horton, a former Open University lecturer, said: “Thirty years ago, when I moved to Watlington, there were classes nearly every evening.

“What we would like to be able to offer is second- chance courses like maths as well as practical, work-related skills like computer experience, which have a demand. Although not every class before was popular, some of them are still missed to this day, particularly some of the practical classes like stonemasonry.”

Carole Lushington, adult learning manager for the county council, has met Cllr Horton, his wife Carol and parish council chairman Ian Hill to discuss reviving the classes.

Cllr Horton said “It will all depend on the level of support we receive. I would be very interested to hear from people who feel they could be tutors or want to join a committee of some sort.”

If you are interested, call Cllr Horton on (01491) 612189.

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