The Guardian reports: ‘Five years after declaring that English for adults unable to speak it would be taught free of charge because it was such an essential requirement, the government has revised its stance.’
ESOL (English for speakers of other languages), as all teaching of English as a foreign language has become known in recent years, ‘will no longer attract automatic fee remission’, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has announced. From next year, only the unemployed and people receiving income-based benefits will have their fees waived if they want to learn English.
Adult asylum seekers who are awaiting the outcome of applications to stay in Britain will not qualify for free ESOL, or indeed subsidised further education of any kind. “Only those who are granted refugee status, humanitarian protection or discretionary leave by the government will be eligible,” says the LSC. Asylum seekers aged under 18 will still be able to get free ESOLl and further education.
People coming to the UK to take up jobs will no longer get English lessons for nothing, the LSC adds in its annual statement of priorities for the coming year: ‘We will also expect employers who have recruited workers from outside the UK to bear the full cost of any necessary English-language training.’
For more information on the LSC see http://www.lsc.gov.uk