Supporting Post-16 Language Learning Through ESOL

Policy briefing

In this briefing, we explore the importance of language support for speakers of ESL* and the policy changes we need to see to ensure greater access to appropriate English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes.

Our recommendations include:

  • Develop and deliver a cross-Government national English language strategy.
  • Data collection on the needs and levels of proficiency of ESOL learners must be a priority action in an English language strategy.
  • An additional field marker should be added to the individualised learning record (ILR) which identifies learners with other language backgrounds.
  • Funding models which incentivise employers to provide ESOL (e.g., via the Apprenticeship Levy) should be considered.
  • Different funding models are needed in further education to ensure colleges are not disincentivised from offering ESOL provision over Functional Skills English.
  • A new ESOL curriculum and ESOL qualifications should be developed which support effective learning for ESL speakers and provide the language skills they need to succeed in education and employment.

*English as a second or additional language.