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Education: ESOL

Volume 715: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people participated in a publicly funded English for Speakers of Other Languages programme in each of the last three years. [HL375]

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people completed a publicly funded English for Speakers of Other Languages programme in each of the past three years. [HL424]

Learner participation and achievements on English for Speakers of Other Languages courses (ESOL) are published in a quarterly statistical first release (SFR). The latest SFR was published on 22 October and shows information on LSC-funded participation and achievement on ESOL programmes in table 5.1 for 2005-06 to 2008-09 (provisional): http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/sfroct09.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much they have spent on English for Speakers of Other Languages programmes in each of the past three years. [HL425]

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much funding for English for Speakers of Other Languages programmes will be available for the next three years. [HL426]

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is responsible for the funding of post 16 further education and skills training. Since 2001, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) has formed part of the Skills for Life strategy.

As set out in the Skills Investment Strategy (November, 2009), planned investment in Skills for Life will be around £600 million in 2010-11 through the adult learner responsive and employer responsive route.

The New Approach to ESOL (May 2009) gives a greater role for local authorities, working with the LSC, FE colleges, training organisations and other partners, to identify and meet the needs of the most vulnerable people in their area who need to improve their English skills and to enable ESOL provision to have a greater focus on social inclusion and community cohesion. This new approach is being rolled out across local authorities in England.

The following table provides estimated LSC spend on Skills for Life ESOL learners over the past three years for which full year data are available.

Year

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

Estimated spend

£298 million

£289 million

£284 million

Source: Learning and Skills Council

Investment for FE and skills provision over the next three years will be dependent on the outcomes of the next spending review.