Stephen Exley

‘We’ve got the momentum to put Esol back on the map’

Six months ago, Tes revealed how provision of English for speakers of other languages was in crisis. Funding had collapsed and demoralised teachers were quitting. But now, thanks to a change of political focus and promises of greater investment, it looks like things could finally be looking up, writes Stephen Exley

Magazine article image

After years of being overlooked and underfunded, English language provision for adult immigrants has reached a tipping point.

With funding available for English for speakers of other languages (Esol) having dropped by more than half (from £203 million in 2009-10 to just £90 million six years on), a survey by charity Refugee Action reported by Tes in October revealed a sector in crisis. Some 45 per cent of providers reported learners facing waiting lists of six months or more, rising in some cases to three years.

Jenny Roden, co-chair of the National Association for Teaching English and other ...

Subscribe to continue reading

Get full access to our magazine to keep up-to-date with the latest education research, insight and analysis – including audio articles and back issues