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Action for ESOL

A new campaign to fight for and defend ESOL from the current round of cuts has recently been launched with support from NIACE, NATECLA, the Refugee Council, Reflect for ESOL, NRDC, the Ruth Hayman Trust, WEA and lots of colleges and other providers.

As colleagues will know, ESOL, along with the rest of adult learning and skills, will be receiving a series of body blows in 2011-2010 with cuts to the funding rate and cuts to entitlement to fee remission. Action for ESOL is fighting against the cuts and for the right to publicly funded English classes for all. The new Campaign wants to build on the successful organisation of the ESOL Campaign in 2005/6 which provided an opportunity for co-ordinated local activities and a forum where ESOL teachers and students could discuss what was happening.

As NATECLA point out Adequate and sustained funding of ESOL is not a luxury, it is an essential public service. This was recognized by Skills for Life, the national strategy for the improvement of adult literacy and numeracy. Thousands of migrants achieved levels of English which enabled them to join the jobs market, access training and participate more fully in their local communities. The strategy created a national curriculum for ESOL, an overhaul of the qualifications for ESOL teachers and a research centre, the National Research and Development Centre. But now, the funding made available through the strategy is under threat and the good work begun by Skills for Life could be lost.

NATECLA have a petition against the ESOL cuts for colleagues to sign at http://www.gopetition.com/petition/41552.html