Refugees: English Language

Home Office written question – answered on 21st March 2017.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answers by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 9 February (HL Deb cols 1860–1861) about unaccompanied child refugees, what is their response to the report by Refugee Action Locked out of learning: A snapshot of ESOL provision in England concerning the waiting times to access English language classes faced by refugees.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department

The government supports English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) as part of its wider strategy to improve adult literacy in England, support integration and break down barriers to employment. As soon as adults are granted refugee status or humanitarian protection they become eligible for skills funding – including for ESOL courses - through a provider’s adult education budget. In addition to the existing funding, an additional £3 million was distributed to colleges and other providers that deliver to learners in the areas identified by the government as having the greatest ESOL need. All of the geographical areas cited by Refugee Action in its report have received additional funding in December 2016.

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