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Refugees

Volume 181: debated on Friday 23 November 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will consider making additional earmarked grants available to local education authorities for provision of English courses for refugees newly arrived in the United Kingdom.

It is open to local education authorities in England and Wales to apply for grants paid under section 210 of the Education Reform Act 1988 to meet the educational needs, including the need for English language teaching, of those who are for the time being resident in a camp or other accommodation or establishment provided for refugees or for displaced or similar persons. Provision for English language teaching for other refugees is a matter for the local education authority concerned. However, if the refugees are from the Commonwealth, local education authorities in England and Wales may apply for grant paid by the Home Office under section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966 to support the cost of English language teaching.

To ask the Secretary of Stale for Education and Science if he will consider making additional resources available to asylum seekers to meet the fees sought by British universities or colleges to which they may apply.

The Government do not regard it as appropriate to provide resources to meet the course fees of applicants for asylum, since there is no presumption that they will be allowed to remain in this country. Those granted asylum are eligible to apply for mandatory awards, or to pay fees at the home rate if they do not qualify for such an award.