How are priorities for ESOL provision changing?

As you plan ahead for a new normal and to welcome your learners back to their place of study, we take a look at how providers have changed their priorities for their ESOL provision and what else could change in the not so distance future.

With the outlook of the job market vastly changing and the increasing demand for jobs it is vital that learners have both the English Language and employability skills in order to succeed in gaining employment. A key part of this is ensuring learners rebuild their confidence as they may have been out of the study environment and workplace for a while.  In addition we could see an uptake in learners wanting to retrain and improve their English skills in order to gain employment in a new industry. From the conversations we’ve been having with you, we’ve seen a spike in interest from ESOL Providers wanting to deliver units in Work Preparation, Digital Skills and Life Skills topics to their ESOL learners, to ensure they are prepared for all aspects of life outside of the classroom.

Another consideration going forward is ensuring ESOL provision is adaptable to changing priorities and has the flexibility to be added into other study programmes. It will be increasingly important to be aware of and adapt provision to the priorities of the Department for Work and Pensions, LEPs, Combined and Local Authorities in your area; as it’s likely we will see a stream of change over the coming months and even years. This will ensure your learners receive an enriched education that will provide them with the solid foundations and skillsets to successfully gain employment in a competitive job market.

Although ESOL is not a legal entitlement there are several sources of funding that can be utilised for making sure your provision is adaptable, including flexibilities for unemployed adults and low paid workers, adult education budget and using Z codes alongside regulated learning aims if your learners require additional learning hours for ESOL.  In 2020/21 the low wage flexibility will cover learners who earn a gross salary of up to £17,004 outside London and earn less than the London Living Wage in London, which current stands at £20,962.  Additionally learners aged 16-19 can also complete Pre-Entry ESOL units as part of their non-qualification hours to enhance their full study programme.

At Ascentis we offer the following range of qualifications designed to improve English Language skills and aid progression to employment and further study:

If you would like to find out more on making the best of the funding for ESOL programmes, click here to view our latest webinar with Beej Kaczmarczyk.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of our qualifications please contact us at hello@ascentis.co.uk.

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“We are very pleased that we made the move to Ascentis for all our ESOL exams. The exams are appropriate for our learners, and lecturers find the marking manageable. As an organisation, Ascentis is a pleasure to work with. Our queries are always dealt with quickly and we are extremely well supported by our verifier.”

Waltham Forest

“We have thoroughly enjoyed our first year with Ascentis. There has been support of a high quality throughout the academic year. Support has been provided through a variety of roles including the quality managers, lead EQA’s and subject moderators.”

Bradford College

“We have been delighted with the impact Ascentis Extended Awards in Mathematical Skills (Stepping Stones) have had on our student’s progression towards their functional skills mathematics as well as preparing them for the completion of their GCSE. It has taught them the essential skills in mathematics which enabled them to deal with the practical problems and challenges of life – at home, in education and at work. These skills are valued by employers and further education, and are a platform on which to build other employability skills. We are also very impressed with the level of service and commitment shown by the staff of Ascentis, they are always available to help whenever help is needed.”

Brent Start

“The transparency and support of Ascentis has been refreshing. Our moderation process has been a pleasure and developmental feedback has always been welcomed.”

Kensington & Chelsea College

23rd Sep 2020

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