HL Deb 09 March 1992 vol 536 cc46-8WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, as a contribution to good race relations and the effective resettlement of refugees, they will increase the number of full-time and part-time places in courses teaching English as a second language available within Greater London.

Baroness Denton of Wakefield

Local education authorities (LEAs) are currently under a statutory duty to secure adequate facilities for further education in their areas. It is for the London LEAs to identify the needs in their areas, and to consider how best to meet them. It is open to local authorities and training and enterprise councils to bid for grant under Section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966 or the new ethnic minority grant respectively, to enable staff to be employed to teach English as a second language, if such provision cannot be met from the mainstream.

Under the proposals in the Further and Higher Education Bill [H.L.], currently before Parliament, the duty to secure adequate facilities for most aspects of further education, including those to improve the knowledge of English of those for whom English is not the language spoken at home, will pass to the further education funding councils. It will be for the Further Education Funding Council for England, advised by the relevant regional committee of the council, to consider what provision to make for such facilities in London.

Local education authorities have a duty to provide suitable and efficient primary and secondary education for all children in their area, including refugees. Suitable education for a child who speaks little or no English must entail the provision of English language tuition appropriate to that child's needs. It is for individual LEAs and schools to determine how best to meet the educational needs of children in the light of local circumstances.