Black History Month 2009

With the onset of Black History Month many leading inspirational black figures such as; Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman, (to name a few) and at present times Barack Obama have prominent places in our minds.

To commemorate, each week we’ll be taking a look at the achievements of our very own members of staff at Westminster Adult Education Service (WAES). Continue reading

WAES celebrates publication of Good Ofsted Inspection Report

WAES-webWestminster Adult Education Service (WAES) is celebrating the publication of its Ofsted inspection report after being awarded a Good: Grade 2 overall.

During the week commencing 11 May 2009, the service was inspected by Ofsted, the government department responsible for setting and monitoring standards in education. The purpose of the inspection was to assess the quality of education provision for adults provided by WAES, and to consider the effectiveness of the service along with its capacity to improve. The inspection also assessed the service for leadership and management and quality assurance procedures. Continue reading

Westminster Adult Education Service celebrates Adult Learners Week 2009.

Come and join us at Westminster Adult Education Service (WAES) between 11th-15th May as we celebrate Adult Learners Week 2009. With a host of FREE tasters taking place from Yoga to computing, languages to graphics there’s something for everyone.

Adult Learners’ Week is a national event celebrating the achievement of the tens and thousands of students who have attained new skills and qualifications in order to enrich their lives or to gain a job.

“Learning is a life long experience, for many adults it is quite a daunting experience going back to education but as our learners have proved that with a bit of perseverance and commitment you are able to go back to studying and achieve your goals.” Says Donald Lush, Director of Student Support at WAES.

The FREE tasters are open to everyone and will take place on Monday 11th May between 10am – 4pm at Amberley Road Centre and between 12 – 4pm on Thursday 14th May at Ebury Bridge Centre. The week will end with Silver Surfers Day on Friday 15th May between 9:30am – 4:30pm at Amberley road centre where there will be a whole range of FREE IT tasters for older people.

If you would like more information on the Taster Days please call our information line on: 020 7297 7297 or visit our website at Continue reading

Student success for adult learning in Westminster

waes_logo1Magdoline Abdulla, a Sudanese mother of three escaped a life of turmoil in her native country and has been living in the UK for over three years. Not being able to speak a word of English, Magdoline built up the courage and enrolled onto an ESOL course at Westminster Adult Education Service (WAES). This decision has changed her life.

Magdoline says; “ it’s so important for me to learn and improve my English as it will mean that I can do simple things like take my children to the doctors and go to school meetings”

Arriving in a new country was very scary and daunting for Magdoline but learning to speak English at WAES and receiving tremendous support from her tutors has given her enormous confidence and the ability to look into the future with great optimism.

Magadoline is currently studying the ESOL Upper Intermediate and the CLAIT Introduction to Computing course at WAES and her long-term goal is to secure a job in childcare. Continue reading

Westminster Adult Education Service celebrating success

waes-homepageEgle kirlyte, originally from Lithuania, moved to London four years ago and is currently studying on the Graphic Design BTEC Level 2 course at Westminster Adult Education Service (WAES) in hope that it will lead her into her dream job as a Graphic Designer.

Previously, Egle studied the Introduction to Web Design course at WAES where she discovered her talent and enthusiasm for design, which prompted her to pursue a career in graphic design.

Once Egle completed the Introduction to Web Design course she progressed onto the Graphic Design BTEC Level 2 course at WAES in order to further her knowledge and skill set.

“The course has exceeded all my expectations, the teacher is amazing, she keeps me interested all the time.

I hope to start working in the design industry as soon as possible and build a portfolio of work so I can open my own design studio with my husband”. Says Egle. Continue reading

Get in the picture – learn a new skill.

Adult education is fast becoming the turning point for many people seeking to retain or learn new skills. With growing numbers entering adult education Westminster Adult Education (WAES) is responding to that growth.

WAES is one of the largest providers of adult education in the country, offering over 1,000 courses across 80 sites in the city.

WAES’ Head of Service Barbara Holm said, “We know adult education can change lives, so we make sure our courses reflect real demand. We recognise the commitment our students make, and we reward that by providing as much flexibility and support as possible.”

Last year WAES helped over 8,000 students learn a new skill enabling them to enhance their job prospects with some getting a job as a direct consequence.

At age 30, student Nina Hollington gave up her secure job to pursue a lifelong dream career in photography. “WAES offered a reasonable price for my accredited BTEC course, and it had a brilliant, flexible approach. I was also amazed that of all the providers I contacted, only Westminster encouraged an interview to discuss what type of course might be right for me.

The course is tailored to the needs of the group, which is great. The equipment was also a plus. Many courses just give handouts, but WAES uses a range of the latest equipment, including the innovative medium format digital technology that is fast becoming industry standard.”

Now a photographer’s assistant, Nina undertakes paid freelance work and notably made both BBC picture of the week and Time Out magazine with her iconic photo ‘The Silent Tango’. “That was a real boost,” she said. “It came from homework – a photo story with an emphasis on losing your fear to get close to your subject. When I saw the tango, I realised I had to get in the midst of it, so I ended up lying on the floor in Waterloo station. I wouldn’t have dared before.
Nina is one of many students who have gone onto to achieve great things and with WAES’ help you could do the same so why not explore the possibilities.
For course information please cal 020 7297 7292 or visit the website at


Westminster Adult Education Service (WAES) helped Skills Minister Phil Hope MP launch a partnership with the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF) and the Department for Education and Skills’ Get On campaign at Church St Markets on Tuesday, 14 November 2006.

Market traders up and down the country have joined in the effort to target the 14.9 million adults who don’t have the skills to pass a maths GCSE.

Phil Hope launched the partnership with the NMTF by getting behind a local stall to serve fruit and veg with stall owner Charlie Cook.

Phil Hope paid tribute to the Numeracy skills of the nation’s 46,000 stallholders: “This partnership with the NMTF is right on the money and shows the importance of good maths skills. Market traders can tot up bills without a moment’s thought – after all, how often do you see a till on stall? As confident counters we think they set a great example for people who might be less sure with their maths, and we believe they are keen to make the most of their very visible role in the local community.

Joe Harrison, president of the National Market Traders Federation said: “We are delighted to be supporting the ‘Get On’ campaign and to be promoting the importance of Numeracy and literacy skills for adults. As market traders, we are proud of the skills we have developed and use as part of our daily work and we think we could really help to spread the learning message to the thousands of customers we serve each day.”

Charlie Cook, market trader and Chairman of the Church Street market added: “I have worked as a market trader all my life, and take my maths skills for granted. However when I think about how often I need to calculate costs in my head, and how much slower I would be at my job if I had to use a calculator every day, I realise how important they are. I’m looking forward to working with the Get On campaign, and would encourage anyone out there who doesn’t feel very confident with maths to find out more about the campaign, to build on what they can already do.”

Westminster Adult Education Service (WAES) offers many free courses to students of all levels whether they need to brush up on their maths skills or want to get into to higher education or a better job.

All our students have an individual interview assessments to assess current skills, needs and interests so students can receive an individual learning plan.

Courses we Offer:

Entry Level Numeracy: Designed for those wishing to step back into education or employment.

Adult Numeracy Levels 1 & 2: Designed for people wanting to gain a further qualification or improve their job skills.

Move On Adult Numeracy: Designed to help students brush up on their Level 1 & Level 2 skills before taking the National Tests.

If you would like more information on how to enrol in a course call us now on 020 7297 7297.

WAES Tutor Breaks Weightlifting Record

Denise Ramsay-Overall, a fitness tutor at Westminster Adult Education Service (WAES), broke the British Snatch Weightlifting record at the GL Senior Weightlifting Championship held at Crystal Palace on Saturday 27 October 2007.

Denise set the new snatch record, unbroken since 2000, by lifting 86kgs in the 75kgs body weight category.

While working her way towards her ultimate goal, the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Denise, a former British and English champion, also promotes fitness through teaching at WAES.

For over seven years Denise, 35, has been working with WAES to empower elderly people with exercise. Her fitness courses promote healthy living, exercise and social interaction allowing elderly people to live independent and longer lives. She teaches Chair Based Aerobics, Fitness for Women with English Support and Summer Power Walk Club at WAES.

Denise’s coaching role first inspired her to start bodybuilding and weightlifting. Her devotion to fitness is evident in her working life as well as her personal life.

Shiralee Wakeham, Course Team Leader for Sport and Fitness at WAES shared her encouragement for Denise, “We all wish Denise the very best in her selection bid for the Beijing Olympics. It looks very likely that she will be selected.”


Westminster Adult Education Service (WAES) prides itself in searching for the best possible tutors in order to deliver the best possible teaching and Anna Silverton is no exception.

Anna Silverton is a Course Team Leader for 3D Art & Design at WAES and an accomplished Ceramist who runs her own studio from home.

Her clients range from Doris Lockhart Saatchi and Sir Terence Conran. Anna has also enlisted a wide range of corporate clients who commission her to produce one off ceramic pieces. Previous clients include Butterfield Chapel, Covent Garden, London Meridian Hotel Piccadilly, Budapest
Four Seasons Hotel, Canary Wharf, London Four Seasons Hotel, Hampshire
Radiance of the Sea, Caribbean Cruise Ship Sandy Lane, Barbados.

Anna has built up an elaborate collection of ceramic vases over the years receiving impressive coverage at exhibitions and in magazines including Elle Decoration. Currently some of her work is being exhibited at Contemporary Applied Arts Gallery in London.

“All my vases and bowls are wheel thrown. I like to interrupt and repeat structures, through cutting, joining and reshaping on the wheel, to discover new forms and hone them” says Anna.

Anna completed an
MA Degree (with commendation) at the Royal College of Art, from there she went on to teach Ceramics in America. When returning to the UK she naturally continued her teaching as a part time Ceramic tutor at WAES and then went onto becoming a Course Team Leader. Anna has been a tutor at WAES for over 15 years and thoroughly enjoys the experience.

“Teaching is incredibly satisfying and I absolutely love it, I’ve remained with WAES for so long as I’m passionate about the quality of teaching and the excellence of facilities. WAES excels on both those accounts as some of the equipment we use at WAES is equivalent to that of degree level.”

Anna’s experience at WAES has given her immense satisfaction, she has seen people fulfil their lifelong dreams and go onto achieve great things, at Universities or in their own studios.

Anna goes onto say that; “ Over the years there’s been a wide range of people taking ceramic courses at WAES, some are older learners with hobbies, people returning to study and broaden their horizons or sometimes professionals looking to increase their skills. Whatever their reason, background or ability I have never yet failed to teach anyone how to use potters wheel to make functional ceramics, I gain great pleasure from that.”

WAES was the first adult education to offer a glass course and is still the only adult education to offer kiln-formed glass. This coupled with the fact that WAES has some of the best quality tutors are the main reasons why students from all over London and beyond come to study at WAES.

For information on courses please call 020 7297 7297 or visit our website at


Westminster Adult Education Service (WAES) in partnership with the 15 adult learning providers from across London launched the TrainingLondon website at London’s Living Room, City Hall last week.

The TrainingLondon website has been created to provide a central portal for employers to seek local training opportunities for their staff across London through the Train to Gain initiative.

The 15 training providers working together under the banner of TrainingLondon have set out to support the government skills agenda recently set out in the Leitch report.

The Leitch Report shows that the UK must urgently raise achievements at all levels of skills and recommends that it commit to becoming a world leader in skills by 2020. This means doubling attainment at most levels of skill. “Our natural resource is our people – and their potential is both untapped and vast. Skills are the key to unlocking that potential. The price of our country will be enormous higher productivity, the creation of wealth and social justice”, Lord Leitch.

Eileen O’Gara, Deputy Director of Curriculum and Quality for WAES stated: “This is an exciting opportunity for Adult Education providers to work together to develop the learning and skills agenda for employees and to support employers in building and developing their workforce.”

Train to Gain is a new service to help businesses across England get the training they need to succeed and stay successful. The scheme will train and up-skill employees in the workforce up to a full Level 2 national vocational qualification (NVQ), which is the equivalent of 5 good GCSEs. This will be free training for the candidates and their employers will have the opportunity to arrange training through many various options.

For more information on the opportunities WAES has to offer your business, please contact Eileen O’Gara on 020 7641 8157.