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Local MP and Councillor talk exciting new plans at ACL Essex, Harlow

02 Jun Local MP and Councillor talk exciting new plans at ACL Essex, Harlow

Adult education provider, ACL Essex, welcomed two special visitors to its Harlow campus on Friday 20th May. Rt Hon Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow, and Councillor Tony Ball, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability discussed exciting new plans for ACL Essex in Harlow. They also visited students in their lessons to discover how ACL Essex is championing learning and positively impacting the community.

The visitors talked to ACL leaders, discussing ACL Essex’s move to the town centre and the many benefits of engaging in adult learning activity. Robert Halfon MP was keen to understand the positive impact ACL Essex has on the local community, and how adult education not only helps local people gain qualifications, but also builds confidence and resilience.

Both politicians met with learners attending a supported learning drama class, which promotes skills for inclusion and independence. They also visited the Advanced Diploma in Accounting class, where learners talked about their different journeys with ACL Essex and how undertaking adult learning has positively affected their lives. One learner told the visitors that they started with ACL Essex to improve their mental health and have since completed maths qualifications, leading to a route into accounting.

Councillor Tony Ball says: “Listening to the journey that these learners have been on with ACL Essex is inspiring and shows how important adult education providers are to residents. The essential skills courses have been instrumental in providing a springboard for residents, providing them with the confidence and motivation to achieve their goals.”

Robert Halfon and Councillor Tony Ball heard that many learners become friends as part of their academic journey, and Robert Halfon MP was particularly interested in how attending courses at ACL Essex can build positive social interactions and improve wellbeing.

Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow says: “I’m passionate about adult community learning centres and Essex is one of the very best. The staff are second to none and dedicate themselves to transforming the educational life chances for so many. It is a wonderful example of how to give a leg up to adults to climb the ladder of opportunity. It is especially important because it gives that ladder to those adults who might not otherwise have undertaken education at university or college. I’m very proud that such a wonderful adult community centre exists in my constituency at Harlow.”

To find out more about ACL Essex in Harlow, visit