Education is a right for every child and a critical opportunity. For children and adolescents worldwide, it holds the key to a life with less poverty, better health and an increased ability to take the future into their own hands. For children on the move who come to the UK, education is one of the first and most critical services they need access to. -Unicef 2018
Learning English is a very important factor in enabling young asylum seekers and refugees to integrate in their community. They have very limited financial resources, making free and accessible language education a necessity.
The young people we work with are not only extremely vulnerable emotionally, but also skill-wise, English language skills. Our current service users speak about 20 different languages.
Whilst some are able to access mainstream education, a significant proportion are at risk of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training). Main reasons are:
Unable to access mainstream colleges because of time of year they arrive as places not offered all year round. i.e. those who arrive in January often wait 8 months until September to secure a place.
Some training providers stipulate learners must be able to work; those who claim asylum in the UK not normally allowed to work whilst claim being considered
Lack of provision catering for language needs of ESOL learners. College settings not always appropriate for new arrivals, especially those who have never had access to education.
Our classes are tailored to the needs of ESOL learners at all levels of proficiency. They arrive with varying levels of English. Very few are fluent, whilst most have very limited English proficiency. The design of our provision takes into account of their diverse needs. While someone with no prior knowledge of English might need regular classes over a long period, others might benefit from a mix of formal and informal learning.
By supporting and improving these young people’s lives, we can make it easier for them to participate and integrate in their communities and make a valuable social and economic contribution.