Paul Blomfield is campaigning against funding cuts for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses. The Government has cut ESOL funding and is introducing charges for people who are out of work and on benefits. This will mean that many of the people who need the courses most will not be able to access them. Paul has tabled a motion in Parliament calling on the Government to modify their proposals and to make sure that women are not excluded from ESOL courses. 53 MPs have signed the motion to show their support.
“I believe that the ability to read, write and speak English is essential for all people living in the UK. ESOL courses play an important role in enabling UK citizens, refugees and others to contribute to society and help build stronger communities. I’m concerned that the Government ‘s proposed funding changes for ESOL will have a disproportionate impact on women, who comprise two-thirds of ESOL learners, and I’m calling on the Business Secretary to change the proposals to ensure this doesn’t happen” says Paul.
Paul spoke in parliament recently about the impact that ESOL courses and being able to speak English can have on people. He said “A number of students from Sheffield college talked about wanting to improve their lives, to find a job, to help their children, and to be able to talk to their doctor. One said, “I don’t need an interpreter any more. I feel more confident. I can join in with things. I won’t keep myself so far from society.” Is not that what we all want to see?” You can read the full speech here.
If your MP has not signed the ESOL Early Day Motion please write to them and explain why ESOL is important and encourage tghem to sign EDM 1706. You can find out who your MP is at http://www.writetothem.com/