Remembering the adult college – over a decade on

It’s now nearly 15 years since Essex County Council sold Grey Friars to developers, ending Colchester’s home-grown adult college after 40 years serving local people. The college had previously survived two other scares: first in the 1980s when ECC wanted to close and sell the premises; then in the 1990s when the Conservative minister Ken Clarke drastically changed the national funding formula for post-school learning, semi-privatising most institutions and disadvantaging non-vocational education. But, by drastic rearrangement, the college survived, and indeed prospered. However, it was finally toppled when, in 2005, ECC removed its college status, made key staff redundant, removed the Governors and other local community links, ran everything centrally, finally moving the remaining truncated operation to Wilson Marriage Centre in Barrack Street. This video serves as a memorial in which students speak about their experiences at their college>