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To: Louise Casey
Don't cut ESOL funding
We call on Louise Casey to consider the devastating impact cuts in ESOL funding will have within local communities when writing her review into improving the integration of Britain's minorities.
Why is this important?
The government's decision to withdraw the promised funding for ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) will have an impact on the most vulnerable adults and have huge consequences for individuals and local communities.
The ESOL decisions really strike at the heart of where education is most needed and also represent a stand against equality, inclusion and integration. As a teacher whose service has just had £34,000 slashed from her ESOL budget with only 2 weeks' notice, on top of the additional 3.9% cut made in the July budget on the Adult Skills budget which was as well as the 24% already announced in March, I find it more difficult and almost beyond my reach to deliver to those who are most vulnerable and in desperate need of English tuition.
In July, Cameron said that the 'failures of integration' foster extremism and that the Casey Review "will look at issues like how we can ensure people learn English." Telling people they must integrate whilst removing their access to the language is like locking a bird in a cage then exhorting it to fly.
The next day, a letter to the FE sector from the Skills Funding Agency revealed that the body would withdraw funding for ESOL programmes for Jobseeker's Allowance claimants with poor spoken English. This comes on the back of severe prior cuts to ESOL funding since 2011.
These hits will have a detrimental impact on these individuals' ability to communicate and integrate within our society and local communities and have dire consequences for our students.
We call on Louise Casey to consider the impact of these cuts when writing her review into improving the integration of Britain's minorities.