Please do what you can to stop the proposed ESOL cuts

Dear fellow Skills Workshop contributors and site users,

I am very concerned about proposed cuts in ESOL funding. According to the new guidelines coming out the only students entitled to free ESOL lessons will be those on active benefits such as jobseekers allowance. Any other benefits that currently give entitlement will not do so in future. Furthermore, those who are dependent upon someone on benefits will also not be entitled to free lessons.

Here is a letter I sent to my MP Emma Reynolds in Wolverhampton. I adapted it from the message on the Action for ESOL site

Please consider writing a similar letter to your own MP.

I am writing to ask that you support the efforts of myself and many colleagues around the country with regard to the teaching of ESOL. A change in entitlement rules in September is putting at risk the receipt of funded lessons in ESOL.

I am sure that as a Wolverhampton MP you are aware of the need for a workforce who are able to function successfully in the English language. At the City of Wolverhampton College we teach a wide variety of ESOL learners: some recent arrivals, but many who have lived in Wolverhampton a number of years and have “got by” with a form of English or worked at places where their native language is used.

All these students have potential to contribute to the economy in Wolverhampton and need the skills in speaking and listening, reading and writing to achieve this. Many are highly motivated and skilled people, who with the language barrier removed could have an enlivening impact here.

As a child I remember the prejudice that was faced by new arrivals to Britain, but observe that now their descendants are among the best entrepreneurs in the country.

I would like to add also that an important unifying factor for the wide cultural mix in the area is the English language, English culture and Citizenship themes which are all part of our ESOL work.

Thank you for reading my comments

Laurence Fletcher

If you don’t have time to do this please at least consider signing the petition

Further ideas for action can be found here

Many thanks