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NATECLA's response to the Rwanda Plan

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16 May 2024

NATECLA is deeply worried about the disruptive effect the UK Government’s ‘Illegal Migration’ and ‘Safety of Rwanda’ Acts are having on ESOL learners and provision.

 Through our ESOL Managers’ Network, we have been made aware of multiple examples of ESOL learners receiving ‘Notice of Intent’ letters and in some cases subsequently being subject to summary detention with the threat of deportation to Rwanda.

Several of our institutional member organisations (which include FE colleges and other ESOL providers) have seen attendance by their ESOL learners seeking sanctuary affected by a fear that they might be detained whilst attending ESOL classes or in any kind of public setting. Our members are also seeing more frequent examples of ESOL learners in Section 95 accommodation being moved at short notice to different parts of the UK, leaving behind their English classes and other aspects of community integration with which they might have been engaged. 

Not only is this uncertainty and climate of fear hugely disruptive to individuals’ learning and achievement, it is also putting a strain on ESOL practitioners and institutions as they find themselves having to offer a considerable amount of additional pastoral and practical support to these learners. 

As the professional association and forum for teachers of English and other community languages to adults, NATECLA believes ESOL provision should be available and accessible to all who would benefit from it. People seeking asylum in most parts of the UK already have to wait at least six months before they become eligible for funded ESOL provision, and this is often compounded by lengthy waiting lists. Where learners are enrolled on ESOL programmes, it is crucial that they are able to complete these without fear of their learning being interrupted by detention or further dispersal. 

Useful links for ESOL teachers

Thank you to English for All and Student Action for Refugees for collating these links. Please pass them onto your learners where you can.

Due to current website issues, you will need to copy and paste some of these links into your browser:

  • Right to Remain - Rwanda Information Webinar: https://righttoremain.org.uk/the-illegal-migration-act-latest-updates 
  • Right to Remain's latest blog post on immigration reporting


  • Action Against Detention and Deportation have a flyer with legal support information: 
  • Care4Calais have created an information sheet about Notice of Intent letters which is translated into different languages: 
  • Migrants Organise have collated a list of resources to share, including information sheets and flyers and also how you can take action.
  • JCWI Explainer: This document explains what we know so far about the Rwanda Act, what to do and who to contact if you might be sent to Rwanda and actions you can take to join the fight against the Rwanda plan
  • Information leaflets translated into different languages: bit.ly/rwandahelp


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