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MP Karen Buck visits Lisson Grove

On Thursday 2 November 2023, Karen Buck Member of Parliament (MP) for Westminster North visited Westminster Adult Education Service’s (WAES) flagship centre at Lisson Grove. As one of London’s leading Adult Education Colleges, Karen Buck, a local MP wanted to find out more about staff and learner experiences and how WAES has successfully supported learners to upskill, retrain and progress into work.

The MP was hosted by the Principal Arinola Edeh and Assistant Principal, Alison Muggridge who gave her a tour of the College in action. Karen Buck MP visited our renowned classes in Ceramics, Art, Fashion and Graphic Design; and spoke with students about how they had heard of WAES and their educational experiences and career ambitions. In answer to one of Karen Buck MP’s questions on why did you take up the course, one Fashion student shared her story of how she loved fashion as a child but was never allowed to touch her mother’s sewing machine. Doing this course was a dream come true and one day she would like to open her own business.

Karen Buck MP got to visit a Healthy Meal Planning cookery session for adults with special educational needs, the class was tucking into the lunch that they had cooked. The learners shared their stories about their favourite meals, the cooking skills that that they had learnt and what they enjoyed cooking at home. ESOL learners shared their reasons for learning English and their aspirations to go to university and restart their careers in the UK. One learner shared, that she speaks Arabic and French and is now learning English. She would love to go to University, and study Law, a subject she studied in her home country of Lebanon.

The visit culminated with a Q&A with our Learner Panel Forum. At WAES we believe it is important to have the ‘Learner Voice’ at the heart of what is a co-created curriculum. Our learners put the MP through her paces with their topical questions as well as sharing their learning journeys and how WAES has helped and supported them with their goals and ambitions.

Principal Arinola Edeh said:

“Our learners are at the heart of everything that we do and are the greatest advocates of adult education. Karen Buck MP has equally always been very forthright in her views on the importance of ensuring that adults can continue learning throughout their lives and it was great to see that her passion for adult education has not diminished over the years.”

Karen Buck MP said:

“I loved dropping into a range of different classes, seeing the students’ work and hearing about their experiences, plans and hopes for the future. WAES offers an extraordinary adult learning environment, with high quality education matched by an incredible supportive culture. Students come from a very wide range of backgrounds, but all spoke passionately about the value of the WAES and how much they gained from studying there.”