Government 2010 Spending review
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09 November 2010
NATECLA would like to affirm that all second language learners coming to live in this country should have access to publicly funded ESOL classes in order to enable them to play a full part in British society. We are extremely concerned about the statement regarding proposed cuts to English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in the Comprehensive Spending Review announced on 20th October. It was stated that there would be a reduction in BIS activities, including ESOL funding for people not in 'settled communities' from 2012 although no clarification on 'settled communities' was provided. We have received many expressions of concern from members across the UK as well as requests for urgent clarification of the position.
NATECLA strongly opposes all reductions to ESOL provision. We have always stressed the importance of an entitlement to funded English classes for all adults who need these. There are many types of immigrant communities in the United Kingdom and it would be an almost impossible task to differentiate amongst them. The danger is that starting to define which nationalities or ethnic groups constitute 'settled communities' could result in many learners and groups, all with a very clear need to learn English and develop their literacy skills in English, being excluded from access to ESOL programmes.
We are pressing for an urgent meeting with the Department where we can present our members views and concerns in more detail.
The government spending review complete report can be found here. The section relating to Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) an be found on page 52-54
•The Further Education resource budget will be reduced by 25%, or £1.1billion, from £4.3 billion to £3.2 billion by 2014-15.
•There will be support for basic skills provision so that those left behind first time around can continue to gain basic numeracy and literacy skills.
•Support for Adult and Community Learning and reduce the complexity and bureaucracy that hampers providers from responding to community needs.
•To ensure that businesses have the highly skilled workforce needed to drive growth the Government will boost spending on adult apprenticeships by £250m a year, providing up to an additional 75,000 apprenticeship places every year by the end of the Spending Review period.
•There will be reductions to key BIS activities include the ending of Train to Gain and replacing it with an SME focused training programme, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) funding for people not in settled communities, and the Regional Development Agencies will also be abolished in 2012
•The entitlement to free training for a first full level 2 qualification for those over 25 will be removed. Further education students aged 24 and over studying for a level 3 qualification (A-level equivalent) will be asked to pay fees. These students will be supported by the offer of a government-backed loan where repayments will be dependent on the learner's income.
•Further education students aged 24 and over studying for a level 3 qualification (A-level equivalent) will be asked to pay fees. These students will be supported by the offer of a government backed loan where repayments will be dependent on the learner's income, protecting those with lower earnings
Go 'more' to see the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Spending Review Settlement Press release