World to Win Week-end School (29-31 May)

You are invited to this Weekend School

To Book: Email Keith Venables

A World to Win: learning from the past; making the future

Friday to Sunday 29th/30th/31st May 2015.

Join us for this exciting Full Board Weekend at Northern College, Barnsley.

It’s open to all activists with a sense of curiosity and we’ll run a course that provides you with bags of information on key eventsin working class history and asks you to connect this with the present day. From Tolpuddle to “Beer and Sandwiches”, from Peterloo to Grunwick, we’ll explore the past to make the future.  And the knowledge you bring will be valued.

Ask your union branch or campaign group to sponsor you.

For £50.00 you’ll get the full weekend, all meals and accommodation,

presentations, full IT, a booklet and hopefully a weekend to remember.

Tutors include: Ruth Richardson (Global Education), Peter Kilbane (Northern College),  Dave Berry (GMB Learning Project Worker) and Keith Venables (IWCE)

Now Recruiting: Places Limited

To Book: Email Keith Venables

The Anti-University and radical education (15th June)

Taking Soundings on 15th June 2015 will be at The Tetley, in Leeds city centre, from 7 – 9pm. Its location is described here 



Outline of the talk 

Martin Levy will begin by saying something (briefly) about the origins of the Dialectics of Liberation congress, both in anti-psychiatry and in the free universities movement. Who were the main personalities?  (RD Laing, David Cooper, Joseph Berke.) What was the anti-psychiatric take on violence? How did it differ from other approaches? What were the congress’ central themes? (Speakers included Laing and Cooper, Stokeley Carmichael, CLR James, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory  Bateson.) What was it like to be there?

Then he’ll describe the birth of the Anti-university of London (in Shoreditch from about 1968-70 then in people’s homes). He’ll mention its origins in the Free University of New York, with some analysis of the important role played by Paul Goodman’s ideas. Who taught there and what? And again, what was it like to be there?

Martin will concentrate on their version of radical education and what can we learn from it?In what ways were the congress and the anti-university a success? What did the main players think? What did young people think? What did academics think? Was the Anti-University a genuine challenge? And if so, how did it compare to other attempts at a radical higher education?

Then he will conclude by asking what we mean today by ‘radical education’? Does ‘radical’ mean – as he will argue that it does in this context – outside of the conventional universities? This will involve reference to the nature of university education today.

Martin Levy says he’s not a regular scholar. The two books he’s written that matter most to him are an edition of the memoirs of the writer and royal mistress Mary Robinson (1994) and an account of the Hackman murder case (2004), both on eighteenth-century topics.

Three of his current projects are: writing a book about the Dialectics of Liberation congress (no publisher as yet), organising a three-day event on the theme of art and spirituality at Braziers Park, in Oxfordshire (November) and guest-editing an edition of the journal Self and Society on Paul Goodman (spring or summer 2016).

Martin lives in Halifax.

Venue Regular attenders at Taking Soundings will expect to be going to the Leeds Becket University’s Broadcasting Place. We’re now trying out a more convivial venue, hence this meeting is at The Tetley, in Leeds city centre. Its location is described here  There’s a new time, too: 7 – 9pm.

Christine Blower, NUT Gen Sec, in conversation, 4 March

As part of their Carnegie Conversations series, Leeds Beckett Uni is hosting an event with Christine Blower, the General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers on Wednesday 4th March at 1730.  Christine’s topic is ‘Standing Up for Education’.  Full information and ticket booking is here 

Independent Working Class Education (1st Nov)


Independent Working Class Education

Leeds Day School

10am – 4pm, Saturday 1 November

Swarthmore Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square,

Leeds LS3 1AD

To book: email



10.00 Welcome + presentation of the draft IWCE manifesto

10.30 Panel on public provision: WEA and university adult education – Jol Miskin, Dick Taylor

11.15 Radical theatre and cultural empowerment – Ron Rose and Mick Martin

12.00 Panel: Independent educational initiatives – Reinhard Huss (Café Economique),

Ed Carlisle (Leeds Summat), Brian Flynn (Enough Waiting), Alasdair Beal (Café Scientifique)

12.45 Lunch break (food available in the Swarthmore cafe)

1.30 IWCE when researching and discovering Nineteenth Century Liverpool –

Dave Douglass

2.15 Enlightened publics: popular education movements in Europe – Tom Steele

3.00 Migration and adult education – John Grayson

3.45 IWCE manifesto feedback

4.00 close Cost: £5 (for room hire) Pay On Day. Food available.

Directions: see

If you are coming by train, catch the City Bus from the station to Park Lane College. Get off at the Clarendon Wing stop inWoodhouse Square. Swarthmore Centre is round the corner. There’s free parking in the car park of Joseph’s Well, Hanover Walk, an office building just next door to the centre.

Entertainment for Saturday evening, 7.30 pm:

England, Arise! – a play about conscientious objectors in 1914, by Bent Architect at the Leeds Carriageworks Theatre.


For booking and directions see For details of the production see .