The Workers' Educational Association (WEA) is the UK's largest voluntary provider of adult education. Ever since it was founded in 1903, in order to support the educational needs of working men and women, the WEA has maintained its commitment to provide access to education and learning for adults from all backgrounds, and in particular those who have previously missed out on education.

The WEA is one of the UK's biggest charities, and operates at local, regional and national levels. Nine Regions in England, a Scottish Association and over 650 local Branches make up the WEA's National Association.

Through these local and regional centres, today's WEA now runs over 10,000 courses each year, providing learning for more than 110,000 adults of all ages and drawn from all walks of life. Courses are created and delivered in response to local need, often in partnership with local community groups and organisations.

The WEA believes that education is lifelong and should continue beyond school, college and university in order to help people develop their potential in a democratic society.

There is a proud tradition of voluntary and democratic practice within the Association, which is, at heart, controlled by its members. At Branch, Regional and National levels, voluntary members are involved in the planning and provision of courses, as well as the governance of the Association itself.

The WEA is a national charity and is supported by the Government through funding from the Skills Funding Agency in England, and in Scotland by the Scottish Executive and Local Authorities.


Our vision is to be the recognised voice of adult learners, and the leading provider of adult and community learning in the UK by any standard.


The WEA is a 21st Century, democratic, voluntary adult education movement, committed to widening participation and to enabling people to realise their full potential through learning.


  • To involve learners, volunteers, members and other partners in:
  • Influencing and campaigning on behalf of adult learners
  • Removing barriers to learning
  • Being responsive in the heart of communities
  • Making the most effective use of all our resources
  • Promoting learning for life
  • Changing and enriching lives through learning – at individual and community levels
  • Promoting adult education worldwide


  • Creating equality and opportunity, and challenging discrimination
  • Believing in people, communities and their potential to change through Education
  • Putting the learner at the centre of everything we do
  • Challenging and questioning ourselves


We also raise funds nationally and regionally, from a variety of other sources including the European Union and the National Lottery.

About the Essex Federation

The WEA Essex Federation is the county voluntary organisation which supports and represents the interests of WEA branches and students in Essex. It also plans and organises educational events throughout the year, for WEA branch members and the general public, such as One Day Schools and three-day Summer Schools in Chelmsford and Colchester. The Federation also produces its own news sheet, EF News, twice yearly.

The Essex Federation Committee meets regularly to discuss its programme of events, the provision of financial and other support to branches, and Regional and National issues. The Chair and several committee members represent Essex on WEA Eastern Regional committees.

The WEA Essex Federation Committee is always looking for new members - people who value adult education and would like to help the WEA to continue its work in Essex.

If you would like to contribute comments or suggestions, or even volunteer, please contact:

David Stubbs (Secretary, WEA Essex Federation) on 01376 322017
or contact us using the link here.