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A New Approach to English for Speakers of Other Languages(ESOL)

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11 September 2009

September 09:'Implementing the New Approach to ESOL' This document sets out the experiences and early lessons learnt from the 31 ESOL ‘new approach’ pathfinder areas. These local authorities, working with their partners, agreed to become early adopters of the ‘new approach’ to ESOL which we set out in May, ahead of national roll-out this autumn A New Approach to English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) The Department for Innovation Universities and Skills (DIUS) published its 'New Approach' report on 7 May 2009 The link below is to the consultation report 'Focusing English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) on Community Cohesion' is http://www.dius.gov.uk/~/media/publications/E/esol_consultation_report Katherine Cowell Deputy Director, Learners and Communities Division writes on 7 May 2009 "The document sets out how we will build on the responses made to the ESOL consultation last year to enable ESOL provision to have a greater focus on social inclusion and community cohesion. Key to this policy’s success will be identifying priority needs at the local level. Local authorities, the Learning and Skills Council and local colleges and training providers will work with other local groups to identify the most vulnerable people in their neighbourhood who need to improve their English skills. Using their knowledge of local demographics, migration and employment patterns, local partners will identify people who are not currently accessing provision and consider how to overcome the barriers preventing them. To date, activity has focused in the four test areas of Ealing, Peterborough, Manchester City and Salford. A number of local authority pathfinders will now implement the new approach and will inform full roll-out when it goes ahead nationally across England from September. The New Approach document, list of pathfinder areas and responses made to the consultation can be found on a new ESOL webpage. http://www.dius.gov.uk/esol The LSC has produced a number of documents to support partners in understanding and implementing the new approach to ESOL. These documents include Checklist to support identifying priorities Local area action ESOL plan template Other funding sources www.lsc.gov.uk/whatwedo/adultlearner/esol.htm --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From NATECLA we welcome any move to tackle barriers to provision, particularly for women at E1 and E2 with childcare needs and for those who are not able to either pay fees or evidence hardship. We know that in many cases outreach and community based provision at E1 and E2 has been reduced because of the local LSC focus on PSA / Leitch targets. We hope that local authorities will be persuaded to draw on the extensive knowledge and expertise held by many large colleges and other providers, as well as voluntary and community groups. We question the impact of this shift in policy when there is no additional funding to support outreach activity and providers’ performance is still measured in terms of success rates. As an example, are those E1 learners, who have not developed reading and writing in their first language, to be allowed the time and support they need to achieve a qualification? The document mentions roll-on roll-off provision and short intensive packages – which may be of benefit for some people but for many the need is for accessible, quality ESOL which allows them to progress according to their individual needs. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Click 'more' to go to the SFL section of the BIS website

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