A reply from 10 Downing Street

4 Nov

A few weeks ago, the students at our Tower Hamlets class wrote a letter to David Cameron and Ian Duncan Smith about their views on workfare. Today we received a response from 10 Downing Street and the Department of Work and Pensions; this was great as we feel like we’re not being ignored.


However the contents of the letter have confused us slightly as it seems to deny that workfare exists, instead using the term ‘work experience.’ What is worth taking note of, is that apparently “It is entirely up to the claimant to decide whether or not they want to participate in work experience. Therefore, a claimant can leave a work experience opportunity at any time without their benefit being sanctioned.”  This seems to be at odds with what we’ve heard is happening at the job centre level so we have posted this letter, which could be used as evidence that people can refuse a workfare/work experience scheme without having benefits cut.

These letters have motivated us to continue our correspondence with the government and next week we plan to discuss the letter in more detail and write a response. Watch this space!



2 Responses to “A reply from 10 Downing Street”

  1. englishforaction November 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    After about a fifth reading we decided that the DWP were suggesting that we were concerned about work experience rather than the Work Programme. We assume the Work Programme is double speak for Work Fare. This week we discussed next steps…..


  1. Writing in the participatory ESOL classroom | efalondon - July 10, 2014

    […] In our training this July, we decided to look at writing. Like anyone living in Britain, the participants we work with need to do many different kinds of writing like filling out forms, sending texts or writing notes to their children’s teacher. Writing can also be a source of empowerment. It can be the means to tell your story or record stories from your culture, it can be a tool to hold your council or MP to account. Check out this student letter on workfare. […]

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