Response to consultation on ESOL qualifications

3 December 2012

NIACE welcomes Ofqual’s Consultation on English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Qualifications overall, but has some serious concerns regarding several of the proposals.

Proposal number one, to introduce a new ESOL qualification for life in the UK, is of particular concern to NIACE. It appears to be driven by Home Office immigration policy rather than by any educational need and NIACE is not convinced that such an introduction would be in the interest of current or future English language learners.

Chris Taylor, NIACE Programme Manager leading on ESOL, said:

“NIACE has concerns for ESOL learners and providers. We’re worried that an ‘ESOL for life in the UK’ qualification may not be viable. If the Skills Funding Agency funds both the ESOL Skills for Life qualifications and the ‘ESOL for life in the UK’ qualifications, smaller providers may have difficulties running both courses. There’s also not enough time for awarding bodies to develop and test a robust suite of qualifications for September 2013. Lastly, there will be significant implications for staff-training for teachers, assessors and verifiers, as well as associated costs.”

Download NIACE’s full response to the consultation, which closes today at 5pm.