English Language: Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 21st July 2020.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union, Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to support ESOL teaching that has been disrupted by the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

We want to get all further education learners, including ESOL students, back into education settings as soon as the scientific advice allows because it is the best place for them to learn, and because we know how important it is for their mental wellbeing to have social interactions with their peers and teachers.

Many FE providers are already open for some learners, including those who are 16-19 and adults, subject to the required safety measures being met. From Autumn 2020, all learners, including those who are 16-19 and adults will return to a full high-quality education programme delivered by their college or post 16 learning provider.

We are providing a one-off, ring-fenced grant of up to £96M for colleges, sixth forms and all 16-19 providers, to provide small group tutoring activity for disadvantaged 16-19 students whose studies have been disrupted.

We will continue to pay grant funded providers their scheduled monthly profiled payments for the remainder of the 2019/20 funding year and funding allocations for 2020/21 have been confirmed, and payments will be made in line with the national profile.

We are also exploring options within adult education and will be making decisions on where we may be able to introduce flexibilities to help remove barriers, including IT equipment or connectivity costs, for learners wishing to access their provision online.

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