English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Wednesday 4 November 2015, 5:00pm

Motion detail

"This Assembly expresses its concern over the decision of the Government abruptly to end English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) funding for mandated DWP referred FE students.

The Assembly believes that it does not represent joined up Government for one department, the DWP, to mandate people  to go on ESOL courses or lose their benefit on the one hand; and on the other for another department, BIS, to entirely cut the funding for such mandated, work tailored  courses.

The Mayor has previously insisted that “everybody in London, everybody who comes to work in our economy, should be able to speak English.”[1]However, given this latest barrier being placed in the way of those seeking to acquire English language skills, this Assembly is sceptical about the Government’s commitment to ensuring that all those seeking employment and greater integration into their communities are able to do so, especially in the context of other Government cuts to the Adult Skills Budget, which restrict ESOL courses so that refugees, asylum seekers, and other migrants who need to learn English find it ever-harder to access appropriate language classes.

The Assembly therefore calls on the Mayor to:

  • Lobby the Business, Education, and Work and Pensions Ministers to seek an alternative to the ESOL funding cuts.
  • To commission a study from GLA Economics looking at the costs and benefits to the London regional economy of government funding for ESOL courses.”



[1] Nicholas Cecil, Boris Johnson: Everybody in London should be able to speak English, Evening Standard, 06.01.15