English Language: Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 24th October 2019.

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Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what provision they are making to enable those adults whose first language is not English to learn the language to a reasonable standard; and what resources they have committed to such provision in the last 12 months.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Department for Education funds English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) through the Adult Education Budget (AEB). Colleges and adult learning providers have the freedom and flexibility to determine how they use their AEB allocation to meet the needs of their communities. In 2017/18, the latest year for which we have data available, this supported 114,300 adult learners to access English courses with £105 million of investment from the AEB.

In addition, the Home Office and Department for Education have provided £10 million from 2016 - 2020 to enable refugees resettled through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme to access additional classes. From April 2019, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government set up a new Integrated Communities English Language programme, worth £4.5 million for this year. The programme will deliver community-based English language learning in 2019/20 for over 19,000 learners.

The Department for Education is working closely with other government departments to develop a new strategy for ESOL. This strategy will provide a shared vision and common aims for all publicly funded ESOL.

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