Croydon Council offers provision for adult education in the Borough through its award-winning Croydon Adult Learning and Training (CALAT) service. The name may be different but the links back to those early days remain. The ten courses of 1945 have increased to some 1,200 today. Times have changed and the range of provision has increased dramatically over the years. CALAT now offers many courses that lead to qualifications, and some subjects, notably ICT, that would have been unheard of in 1945, yet many of the subjects offered in the 40s still remain popular. Today’s adult learners can choose between weekday, weekend or evening classes and CALAT has four centres in the borough. The CALAT Course Directory is published three times a year with the current main issue consisting of 84 pages with a print run of 35,000. A far cry from the 2,000 printed in 1949.
This week, blaming central Government budget cuts to the Council grants for education, Croydon Council quietly announced the sudden planned closure of the Coulsdon site of CALAT while blaming the Government and previous administration. This site has been a cornerstone of learning in the Coulsdon area, and provides Education and Learning in subjects from Flower Arranging to ESOL for many residents.
We call on Croydon Council to review and reverse this ill judged and knee-jerk reaction and that the Council enter into consultations with the local community and civic leaders to protect Education provision in the South of the borough. CALAT is unique in its provision of Education for all ages, races and budgets, and should not be treated as a point scoring exercise in political austerity.