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    GUIDANCE FOR ESOL PROVIDERS – amended 17 June 2010



    GUIDANCE FOR ESOL PROVIDERS – amended 17 June 2010

    Post by Guest on 03/07/10, 03:39 pm

    GUIDANCE FOR ESOL PROVIDERS – amended 17 June 2010

    Important changes to the ESOL provisions within the knowledge of language and life requirement for people seeking settlement in the UK or naturalisation as a British citizen came into force on 7 April 2010.

    Most applicants aged between 18 and 64 applying for settlement or naturalisation as a British citizen must show that they have sufficient knowledge of the English language and of life in the UK. Applicants can meet this requirement by either passing the “Life in the UK” test or obtaining an approved English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) qualification. The ESOL provision is for people whose standard of English is below ESOL Entry Level 3.
    Applicants can satisfy the ESOL requirement by obtaining a relevant ESOL qualification from an approved awarding body following attendance on a course which was taught using specified citizenship materials. From 7 April 2010, applicants must meet the following additional requirements:

    • they must have studied for their ESOL qualification at an “accredited college”; and
    • they must be able to demonstrate that they have progressed
    An “accredited college” means a college which is either
    • a publicly funded college subject to inspection by Ofsted or its devolved equivalents; or
    • a private college which is accredited by Accreditation UK, the British Accreditation Council (BAC), the Accreditation Body for Language Services (ABLS) or the Accreditation Service for International Colleges (ASIC).

    UKBA will accept a qualification provided that the college meets these requirements at either the date at which the qualification was gained or at the time at which the application for ILR or Citizenship is made.

    To show progress, applicants must show that:
    • their level of English was assessed before the course started; and
    • the qualification gained shows progression by at least one level.

    To enable them to meet this requirement, in future those applying for settlement or naturalisation will be asked to provide a letter-headed document from the college, containing the official stamp or seal of the college. This should include the following details:
    - the student’s name
    - the title of the qualification obtained
    - the name of the awarding body
    - confirmation that the course contained citizenship materials derived from the document entitled “Citizenship Materials for ESOL Learners” produced by NIACE/LLU+
    - confirmation that the student was assessed at the beginning of the course by a suitably qualified teacher
    - the level at which the student was originally assessed
    - the level to which he or she has progressed
    - the duration of the course
    - how the college meets the definition of an “accredited college.

    In addition you should provide evidence of how your college fulfils the definition
    of an “accredited college”.

    A template for these letters, including the evidence required, is included at Annex A.
    There have been instances reported where migrants already close to attaining a particular ESOL level have taken very short course giving them a qualification at that level but no higher. Such a course is of very little value to the applicant and does not assist the applicant in developing their understanding of English to aid their integration into the UK. The expectation in such cases is that the college will take a rigorous approach to the initial assessment and to placing students on appropriate courses. For applicants already very close to attaining ESOL Entry level 1, the appropriate course is likely to be one leading to ESOL Entry level 2. Similarly, those close to Entry Level 2 could be expected to undertake a course leading to a qualification at Entry Level 3. This approach will ensure that applicants obtain maximum benefit from their course of study and that the requirement to have made progression is met.

    The new requirements apply to applications for settlement or naturalisation submitted on or after 7 April 2010. Applications submitted prior to that date will be considered in accordance with the provisions in force on 6 April 2010. In these circumstances, there is no requirement for the college to be accredited but the applicant must still have obtained an ESOL qualification from an approved awarding body following attendance on a course which contained citizenship materials.

    Those applying for citizenship after 7 April who have previously been granted settlement on the basis of an ESOL qualification will not be required to undertake a new ESOL course even if the qualification they have already obtained was not undertaken in an accredited college and progress was not made from the point of initial assessment.

    We believe that these changes will ensure the quality of provision of ESOL with citizenship courses, and prevent the possibility of abuse of the provisions and exploitation of migrants.
    A copy of the relevant Immigration Rules and nationality regulations can be found on our website :

      Current date/time is 13/12/18, 08:30 am