“At the school where my son goes to, they advertised courses starting actually at the school. It was a ‘Word Power’ course, which involves Basic English, with your children coming to the class with you, and I thought maybe I could start refreshing my memory on things and get more qualifications behind me in order actually to get back to the world and work.
Doing the first two courses at the school gave me the confidence to go on and do a creative writing course. I am also doing a parenting course, which is run by the social services and helps you deal with teenagers.
I have got so much more confidence I am also now a parent governor at my son’s school, and I stick up for myself more now. Most of all, the education was fun. It wasn’t hard, it wasn’t impossible and the tutors made it so easy for us to learn that we were like little sponges sucking out all the knowledge that we could, and there are a lot of like-minded people out there.
There are a few of us who now have gone out and started a parents’ group for the estate, where we are getting them to come in and help with the children, so in a way they are self-educating as well. It’s getting better; we have an association now, for which I am the secretary, and we are getting together as a community. It is exactly what it needs: it needs input of money from the Council and it needs education.”
Basic skills tuition especially aimed at adults is available at various levels, including fast-track, through the Essex Adult Community Learning service. For more information click on www.essex.gov.uk/Adult-Learning