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English Language

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 9 December 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many individuals (a) registered for and (b) successfully completed an English for speakers of other languages approved course in England in each of the last three years. (301733)

Learner participation and achievements on English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses are published in a quarterly statistical first release (SFR). The latest SFR was published on 22 October and shows information for 2005/06 to 2008/09 (provisional):

Table 1 shows participation and achievement on approved ESOL courses, and all ESOL courses in 2006/07 to 2008/09 (provisional).

Table 1: Participation and achievement of ESOL courses, 2006/07 to 2008/09(provisional)





All ESOL courses




Approved ESOL courses





All ESOL courses




Approved ESOL courses




.1 Figures for 2008/09 are not directly comparable to earlier years as the introduction of demand led funding has changed how data is collected and how funded learners are defined from 2008/09 onwards.

More information on demand led funding is available at:


1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest hundred.

2. ‘Approved’ courses are those which can be funded by the Learning and Skills Council under section 96 or section 97 of the Learning and Skills Act 2000.

3. Full-year numbers are a count of the number of learners that participated/achieved at any point during the year. Learners undertaking/achieving more than one course will appear only once in the ‘total learners’ category for each data collection. However, learners that are included in different data collections, whether that relates to different years or different funding streams, will be counted more than once.

4. Learners undertaking or achieving both approved courses and courses which have not been approved are counted once only in the totals.

Coverage: England

Source: Individualised Learner Record

From 2006/07, the LSC ceased funding very short courses (less than nine hours). Learners were encouraged to enrol on longer, accredited Skills for Life courses. Accredited provision provides a higher quality of learner experience and leads to the gaining of a recognisable, transferable qualification upon completion. The impact of moving from shorter to longer courses is a reduction in overall learner numbers.