You are invited to a meeting about a cut to funding for ESOL (English for speakers of other languages).
This meeting has been called on Wednesday by UCU (Universities and Colleges Union) and NNRF (Nottingham and Notts Refugee Forum). This cut to ESOL will affect both service users and teachers.
Date: Wednesday 8th December 2010
Place: The Square Centre, Alfred Street North, off Huntingdon Street. NG3 1AA
The government’s proposals for changing ESOL funding next academic year pose an extremely serious threat. They radically restrict the rights of many non-English speakers to publicly funded classes, and threaten the jobs of ESOL teachers.
In their new strategy for FE, the government will restrict access to public funding to students from ‘settled communities’.
Only those students ‘actively seeking work’ and receiving JSA or the new ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) would be eligible for full fee remission. Others would be subject to so-called ‘co-funding’, which in all likelihood means an increase in course fees, including for those in low-paid jobs and on Working Tax Credit or housing benefit. In addition, asylum seekers and students on Section 4 support would no longer be eligible for publicly funded language classes.
This attack on ESOL funding would undermine integration, progression and access to decent employment. It could push provision back into the margins of voluntary teaching and under-resourced community classes.
UCU and the Refugee Forum are jointly calling this organising meeting for teachers, students and others to discuss what action we can take to defend ESOL.