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Education: ESOL

House of Lords written question – answered on 10th February 2010.

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Photo of Baroness Warsi Baroness Warsi Shadow Minister (Community Cohesion and Social Action), Communities and Local Government

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Young of Norwood Green on 14 December 2009 (WA 176-7), how much of the £600 million to be invested in Skills for Life in 2010-11 will be spent on providing English language instruction.

Photo of Lord Young of Norwood Green Lord Young of Norwood Green Government Whip, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Government Whip, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Postal Affairs and Employment Relations) (also Lord in Waiting)

The funding spent by the Learning and Skills Council on English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provision in academic years 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 was given in my Answer to the noble Baroness on 14 Dec 2009, Official Report, col. WA 177.

The final figure for actual spend in 2008-09 is not yet available and it is not possible at this stage to provide information on how much will be spent in the current year or future years. However, the overall Skills for Life budget remains at a similar level to previous years, and assumptions around the proportion that will be spent on ESOL also remain the same. While training organisations have autonomy to decide how to allocate Skills for Life funding between literacy, numeracy and ESOL in order to meet government targets and respond to local demand, we would expect the level of investment in ESOL to remain at a similar level to previous years.

We are working with employers, employer organisations and Trade Unions as well as Sector Skills Councils and other stakeholders to ensure ESOL provision continues to meet their needs in helping people to obtain and progress in employment as well as promoting and supporting community cohesion.

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