Open Day Marks 60 Years of Adult Learning in Reading

A CELEBRATION of 60 years of adult learning in Reading and a showcase of the opportunities available today is taking place this week.

New Directions are inviting residents to call into their centre in Northumberland Avenue, Whitley, between 1pm – 5pm on Friday 29th June to find out about courses on offer, take part in taster sessions, get information from local services and enjoy free refreshments and entertainment.

The centre will also be celebrating the achievements of their learners with the help of Reading Mayor Cllr Debs Edwards and Reading’s Lead Councillor for Education Cllr Ashley Pearce.

Reading’s first adult learning service was launched in 1958 as Reading Technical College and offered courses at Battle, EP Collier and Alfred Sutton schools. New Directions was created in 2008 when Reading Adult and Community College and the Training Education Advice (TEA) Shop merged.

Today’s service offers a diverse selection of courses, including leisure, vocational and accredited learning, English, Maths and ESOL from its dedicated centre in Whitley as well as learning sites across Reading.

Visitors to the open day at the South Reading centre, which underwent a major refurbishment last year, will be able to watch demos and take part in taster sessions including ceramics, cookery, languages, upcycling, upholstery and sewing.

Information and advice will be available from council services and local organisations including libraries, children’s centres, Autism Berkshire, Compass Recovery Centre and Graft. There will also be advice on getting back to work.

Live entertainment will be provided by the John Madejski Academy Choir and ukulele group Tea & Jam and free refreshments will be on offer.

Cllr Ashley Pearce, Lead Councillor for Education, said:

“New Directions offers an excellent range of learning opportunities, courses and facilities.

“The open day will give residents the perfect chance to find out more about the courses on offer and explore the main adult teaching centre in south Reading.

“The event is also a great way of celebrating 60 years of adult learning in Reading and the achievements of New Directions’ adult learners.”

The New Directions Summer 2018 event at 330 Northumberland Avenue, Whitley, will take place 1pm – 5pm on Friday 29th June.

Anyone who is unable to attend the open day but would like to find out more about New Directions can visit the website at and download a copy of the new 2018/19 course guide.

David Millward

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