City Literary Institute

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City Lit
CIT Logo Red RGB 300dpi.jpg
Established 1919
Type Adult education college
Principal & Chief Executive Mark Malcomson
Location Keeley Street
Holborn
London
WC2B 4BA
England
Students 26,590[1]
Ages 18+
Website www.citylit.ac.uk/
City Lit in Keeley Street

City Lit is an adult education college in Holborn, central London, founded by the London County Council in 1919 which has charitable status. It offers part-time courses in areas such as overcoming stammering (for which it has won an award), communication for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, support for people with learning difficulties, languages, computing, and visual/performing arts.

In 2011, City Lit was graded "Outstanding" by government inspectors Ofsted.[2] More recently (2016) it was ranked "outstanding" for "Personal development, behaviour and welfare" and "good" in four other categories.[3]

History[edit]

In 1918 after the war, the London County Council wanted to strengthen non-vocational education. They approved the opening of five literary institutes: Plumstead and Woolwich, Marylebone, Dalston, Peckham, and City Literary Institute (City Lit). They took their first students in September 1919. At the time, it was a radically different approach to adult education. Their first four classrooms were leased from a teacher training college.[4][dead link] City Lit is now the sole survivor of London’s Literary Institute movement.

In 2005, City Lit moved to new, purpose designed[citation needed] premises which are fully accessible[citation needed] and include facilities such as studio spaces (for visual arts, drama and health and movement), "supported learning centre" (library), roof terrace with a herb garden, theatre and music recital room. Since then, they have also opened new photography, fashion and digital arts studios.[citation needed]

Accolades and criticism[edit]

In 2007 City Lit was the first adult education college to be given the Queen's Anniversary Prize, to mark their international reputation in stammering therapy; in 2011 City Lit were graded "Outstanding" by government Ofsted inspectors and in 2016 "Good".

In 2014, proposed cuts and redundancies, including to university access, English and maths GCSE courses, and deaf education, attracted controversy. The Guardian reports a "senior source" blamed the government and warned "We got outstanding in our last inspection. How are we going to maintain that outstanding education with fewer staff?". Criticism was directed at the college's marketing budget and the expansion of short courses such as "graffiti" cross-stitch, beer tasting and burlesque. Principal Malcomson said the advertising expenditure was intended in part to support "more charitable provision" in the future.[5]

The 2016 Ofsted report recommended that the "minority" of education which did not reach an adequate standard be eliminated, more challenging goals be introduced for students of greatest ability, English-language learners be provided with adequate lesson time to speak error-free English, and efforts made to ensure less able learners have learned and understood what was taught. [6]

Courses[edit]

City Lit offers subjects in the areas of art, drama, dance, creative writing, history and politics, philosophy, languages ranging from French and German to Farsi (Persian) and Korean, computing, counselling, music, and fitness.[7] As of May, 2017, Hotcourses.com listed 1156 courses [8].

The college also offers specialist areas, including education for D/deaf adults, courses for adults with learning disabilities and work in stammering therapy.

References[edit]

See also[edit]

Other adult education providers in Camden, London include the nearby Mary Ward Centre, Birkbeck College (a university) and also the Working Men's College.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′54″N 0°07′12″W / 51.5151°N 0.1199°W / 51.5151; -0.1199