English Language: Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 2nd June 2021.

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Photo of Lord Gilbert of Panteg Lord Gilbert of Panteg Chair, Communications and Digital Committee, Chair, Communications and Digital Committee

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Integrated Communities Strategy green paper, published on 14 March 2018, when they plan to publish an English language strategy.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

This government remains committed to English language as demonstrated by the manifesto commitment to boost English language teaching.

We know that language skills are crucial to help people integrate into life in England, as well as to break down barriers to work and career progression. This is why we want to support all adults in England to secure the English language skills they need.

The department funds English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provision through the Adult Education Budget (AEB). Currently, approximately 50% of the AEB is devolved to 7 Mayoral Combined Authorities and the Mayor of London, acting where appropriate through the Greater London Authority. These authorities are now responsible for the provision of AEB-funded adult education, including ESOL, for their residents and allocation of the AEB to providers. The Education and Skills Funding Agency is responsible for the remaining AEB in non-devolved areas.

In 2019/20, 116,100 adult learners were supported through the AEB, across devolved and non-devolved areas to improve their levels of English through fully and part funded ESOL courses.

Our response to the COVID-19 outbreak is our priority at present. We will provide an update on ESOL in due course.

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