HC Deb 09 June 2004 vol 422 c463W
Mr. Gordon Prentice

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he is taking to ensure that non-English speaking spouses of UK citizens are given access to language training; and if he will make a statement. [176279]

Mr. Ivan Lewis

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provision is a key part of Skills for Life: the Government's national strategy for improving adult literacy and numeracy. This provision is free to eligible learners and is widely available through further education colleges. A spouse of a UK citizen is eligible for Learning and Skills Council further education funding if they have been both married and resident in the UK for one year. These arrangements only apply to spouses from outside the European Union.