Save English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
As SAAR went to press, efforts were gearing up for the Save ESOL day of action on the 19 September, aimed at kicking off a second year of campaigning.
The Government announced last year that it would be restricting access for those who benefit from English for Speakers of Other Languages training, provoking widespread opposition from trade unions, NUS and refugee, migrant and Black community organisations. ESOL is a vital service for allowing those who wish to better their English language skills, including young asylum seekers and international students, to participate more fully in society.
The University and College Union (UCU) believe the minimum cost for a course will be £426 – out of the reach of most migrants and those in settled communities. There are no obligations for employers to help.
The UCU has launched a widely-backed campaign to Save ESOL. In May, Mayor of London Ken Livingstone announced that he was alleviating the immediate effects of the cuts by allocating £15 million for ESOL provision for Londoners.
You can help by working with your local UCU branch to collect signatures for the Save ESOL petition, and by passing policy in your Union to support the campaign.
• For more information visit www.ucu.org.uk