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NIACE welcome new Bill Murray announcement

NIACE welcomes the proposals announced today by Bill Rammell MP, on the changes to the eligibility for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses and changes to the eligibility to FE funding for asylum seekers.

Alan Tuckett, Director of NIACE, said, “These are really welcome modifications to the government’s proposals but there is a continuing challenge to recognise that people need access to learning skills from the day they arrive in this country. The outstanding economic and social benefits from investing in ESOL must, in our view, be addressed urgently in the Comprehensive Spending Review.”

The announcement from Bill Rammell today co-incided with the first meeting of the National ESOL Forum. The Forum ““ funded by the DfES – has been established following the publication of the NIACE-led committee of enquiry into ESOL. In its final report ““ More than a language ““ the committee made 39 recommendations, one of which was to establish a forum to act as a source of expertise and advice on ESOL issues and to ensure that policy developments across government take full account of ESOL issues.

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Peter Lavender, Deputy Director at NIACE and member of the Forum on ESOL, said, “I sincerely hope that the new National Forum on ESOL will be able to help with good advice to the Department on improving the quantity and quality of ESOL provision.”

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