English Language Teaching: Refugees

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:13 pm on 24th October 2017.

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Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis The Minister for Immigration 5:13 pm, 24th October 2017

I will answer that before completing the point I was making. It is more complicated than that. The accounts that we have heard from ESOL co-ordinators are not about over-subscription and waiting lists—they have challenged that to an extent, saying that it sometimes masks the fact that they run open waiting lists. Some people who in theory are on a waiting list have found provision elsewhere, so the waiting list issue can be misleading. However, we are working with ESOL suppliers and providers to see what more we can do.

In that context, and to finish the point I was making, all of us across the House can play a part in our local communities and with our local authorities. When we speak to a large cross-party group of leaders, as I did last week with the Local Government Association, the people in the room are those who are most interested and are generally already doing the work. I thanked them for doing so. The challenge is how to get the message to other local authorities that it can be done, and to get them to learn best practice from others.