Website URL : http://www.ucu.org.uk/2255||
Action for ESOL
The Action for ESOL campaign to prevent new restrictions on funding for vital ESOL courses continues to grow.
ESOL courses are now being hit by changes to SFA Rules. To find out how and sign on to a petition against the changes: epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/45432
ESOL and Adult Education temporary reprieve
December 2011 saw a fantastic result for the Action for ESOL campaign, as the government announced that the huge U-Turn on their plans to make students on benefits pay for English (ESOL) classes would now stay until 2013. Many feared the concessions were 'just for one year' but this has now been extended for a further year until 2013/14.
Action for ESOL's success is due to the hundreds of students, ESOL teachers, trade unionists and supporters who took part in the demonstrations and letter-writing, spoke to their MPs, lobbied in parliament and came on the marches and protests around the country. And the amazing work done by everyone who responded to the chaotic last-minute U-turn by getting students back into college and in some cases getting ESOL courses and teachers re-instated.
The campaign still has work to do for those students to whom the concessions did not apply, and many colleges are still trying to undo the chaos caused by the last-minute funding changes.
But for now, this new announcement means that Adult Education is now protected for a further year and the majority of ESOL students can continue their studies until 2013.
Our basic demands
Campaign supported by:
Government cuts in ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) will mean that only settled people on Jobseekers or Employment Support Allowances will get free classes. It is thought others will pay 50% of the full costs.
Language is a basic right. People need English for everyday tasks such as shopping or phoning the doctor. With English skills, people add much more to our workforce, our economy and society - many doing demanding jobs & volunteering - or providing skills & qualifications that we need in the UK.
The Action for ESOL campaign is supported by a wide range of ESOL practitioners from around the country, including: UCU, the National Association for Teaching English and other Community Languages to Adults (NATECLA), the Refugee Council, City of Sanctuary, and the Union of Construction and Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT), ensuring strong commitment from both the users and providers of ESOL services.
Booklet on ESOL students' experiences
ESOL students at Hackney Community College have produced wonderful booklet our ESOL of stories and testimonies of their lives in the UK, how ESOL has helped them, and how they believe the funding cuts will affect them in the future. Please take the time to read the HCC ESOL Student VOICES booklet (pdf) which gives an insight into the lives of typical ESOL students in London, and take every opportunity to highlight our cause to your colleagues and organisation.
Action for ESOL: day of action
The Action for ESOL campaign held a national day of action against the cuts to ESOL funding on 24 March 2011.
ESOL teachers, students and all who support us organise in our communities and in our colleges and other workplaces took place in the protests in the week of the budget and the demonstration called by the TUC on 26 March.
ESOL becomes LOSE!!
The following simple but effective slideshow was produced by some ESOL tutors at Bromley by Bow Centre.
Action for ESOL Coordination Group - this group is co-ordinating the campaign mostly via virtual actions
The group is a network of people representing regions and key bodies.
The group is likely to meet physically very occasionally and mostly communicate by email and other virtual means.
Regional contacts - NATECLA Co-ordinating Group contacts via local branches - please join in locally
Midlands contact Kamran Khan KXK987@bham.ac.uk
Main campaign contacts:
Patricia Sullivan NATECLA Chair firstname.lastname@example.org
Some press highlights