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English Language: Education

Volume 495: debated on Wednesday 1 July 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the performance of the English language training sector; and what steps his Department is taking to assist that sector. (282627)

The Department funds provision of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) through the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and this is delivered through FE colleges, training providers and the voluntary sector.

The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) published a thematic review of ESOL in October 2008. The report stated that ESOL provision in colleges is satisfactory and that ACL providers had improved significantly. The report is available at:

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) maintains a register of colleges offering English language training in relation to their points based system. All private education providers need to be accredited by an Agency-approved accreditation body. Ofsted help to determine which accreditation bodies provide an appropriate test of the bona fides of an educational institution and the list of UKBA-approved accreditation bodies is available on the UKBA website at: