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Education: ESOL

House of Lords written question – answered on 6th April 2011.

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Photo of Lord Bilston Lord Bilston Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish the equality impact assessment of their proposed new approach to English for speakers of other languages.

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to consult groups including the Association of Colleges, College principals, the Refugee Council, the University and College Union, and the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education on their proposed new approach to English for speakers of other languages.

Photo of Baroness Wilcox Baroness Wilcox The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

The equality impact assessment published alongside Skills for Sustainable Growth (November 2010) found that, at the aggregate level, there are unlikely to be disproportionate impacts on protected groups. A separate assessment of how the changes to skills funding may affect English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) learners is currently being carried out by my department, and I expect to be able to publish the assessment in due course.

Since the publication of Skills for Sustainable Growth, a large number of organisations and individuals have made representations to my department about the impact of our proposals for ESOL. They have included correspondence from learners and their representatives and principals of further education colleges. I also hold regular meetings with the Association of Colleges, the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education and trades unions representing the further education sector, including University and College Union. The topics that we have discussed include ESOL. I have also recently met the Refugee Council.

All of the views and supporting information offered by these groups have been collated and are being taken into consideration as part of the ESOL impact assessment.

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