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English Language: Education

Question for Department for Education

UIN 131906, tabled on 12 March 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding has been allocated from the public purse to English for Speakers of Other Languages classes in each of the last five years.

Answered on

20 March 2018

Funding for adult education, including English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), is not allocated by subject at the national level. Instead, education providers have the freedom and flexibility to use their Adult Education Budget (AEB) allocation to meet the needs of their local communities, including through the provision of ESOL classes. Unemployed adults who are looking for work are eligible for full funding; all other learners are co-funded with the government contributing 50% of the course fee.

The table attached sets out the funding spent on ESOL from the AEB over the past five years based on what providers delivered. The table also shows the funding for English language projects by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government. The department cannot show future subject-specific allocations, as this is for each provider to determine based on local demand and need on an annual basis. In addition, from 2019/20, the government is devolving approximately 50% of the AEB to eight Combined Authorities and London (subject to meeting readiness conditions). These areas will have responsibility for determining adult English language and other adult further education provision in their local areas.

There are a number of other funding sources for ESOL and English language provision, including through Home Office funding for English language as part of its commitment to help vulnerable people integrate into their local communities.