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NATECLA's response to the Casey Review on integration

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05 December 2016

NATECLA's response to the Casey Review into the integration of minorities in the UK (published on 5th December 2016)

NATECLA welcome the aspects of the report which emphasise that greater proficiency in English leads to better integration and social cohesion, as well clear progression opportunities from English Language (ESOL) classes to further and higher education and/or enhanced employment prospects, allowing migrants to reach their full economic potential.

This is particularly pertinent at a time when severe cuts to funding for English language (ESOL) classes mean that those who need them are not always able to find any. Even if there are classes, they may be too expensive for some to afford and barriers of childcare, transport and timely information may hamper individuals' abilities to access learning. 

Language is clearly a significant barrier to integration. ESOL classes not only work to remove those barriers but have a wider impact on overall integration. They embed topics on British Values and allow students to learn in mixed groups, meeting individuals form different cultures, backgrounds and ages, having a clear positive impact on removing any "cultural barriers" to a person's employment prospects.

There is clearly a need for a national review of ESOL provision to ensure that courses are reaching the people who need them, combined with a fresh look at funding to target those with the most need. Lastly, national and regional coordination of ESOL provision is paramount to  ensure consistent, high quality provision continues to be available to migrants, both new and settled. 

That is why NATECLA have taken the lead in calling for an ESOL strategy for England. It’s time that the government showed some commitment to ESOL after decades of it being at the receiving end of chopping and change of government funding and policy.

>> Read the Casey Review into Integration and Opportunity

>> Find out more about the NATECLA-led draft ESOL strategy for ESOL

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