The Role and Future of Trade Union Education

An invitation to engage in a discussion and debate:

Saturday 27th March, Ruskin College (Walton Street site), Oxford

(For travel information please email Ian Manborde on

In 1909, Ruskin College students and their supporters formed an organisation called the Plebs League to fight so-called ‘reforms’ which threatened the independent and working-class nature of their education. Over a hundred years later the relevance of their arguments remains with us. A new campaign for independent working-class education (IWCE) has convened this event to discuss the future of trade union education as a feature of working-class organisation and politics, and to examine the challenges which now confront us.


10.30 – 11.30 Tea and coffee available

11.30 Welcome and opening comments – Sheila Cohen (NUJ, author of Ramparts of Resistance)

11.45 Independent working-class education – historical background Colin Waugh (author of ‘Plebs’: the Lost Legacy of Independent Working-Class Education)

12.15 Key themes of the focus on TU Education and IWCE Ian Manborde (Ruskin College)

12.45 Lessons from activist education in the US Kim Moody (Labor Notes)

1.15 Lunch – not provided but plenty of places to buy lunch nearby

2.30 Session for practitioners:

What is TU education for ?

The post-election scenario?

The role of TU educators – an established profession?

A need for a labour educators’ network?

3.30 Proposals for further activity

4.30 End

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