Fircroft College of Adult Education welcomes Mayor of West Midlands for summer visit to celebrate ESOL success

The Mayor of West Midlands, Andy Street, has visited the college meeting ESOL students and staff as well as principals from various Birmingham colleges following an invitation from the West Midlands Combined Authority to showcase this important area of work. Other delegates include a wide range of providers and organisations from across the WMCA area, including local authority adult education services, community and voluntary organisations, Government Departments (including DfE and DWP).

The ESOL delivery in the WMCA area is excellent, and shows many examples of innovation. We recognise however that the focus on ESOL has received less attention over recent years in line with funding. Funding policy has not kept up to date with changes in migration and local residents ESOL needs. Demand has grown over the years and supply does not meet the needs of some West Midlands residents with different ESOL needs.

The visit was part of the launch of a report of the Review Group looking at ESOL provision. 

Mel Lenehan stated ‘I feel privileged to have been the Chair of the ESOL Review Group and see the commitment and passion for ESOL across the group members. We were all particularly pleased that the WMCA had asked for this review and given the opportunity for ESOL to have a specific focus and to raise the profile of this important area of work. We’re delighted to welcome our Mayor to the college’.  

Over the next 12 months, there will be a focus on:

  • Continuity: Confirm a timetable for agreeing the ESOL allocation for 2020/21 ensuring ESOL provision is fully integrated into a local adult skills offer.
  • Development of improved local intelligence of local migration flows and potential demand and a shared dataset of provision.
  • Develop new vocational training provision in key WMCA priority sectors at Level 3 with a specific ESOL element enabling greater access to high value-added jobs.
  • Develop an ESOL for employment offer in major employment sectors with the development of bespoke language skills more appropriate to the employment market and ESOL provision embedded within wider training.
  • Develop online learning proposals to enhance the range of ESOL delivery options.
  • Explore the development of ESOL learning hub to enhance the Information Advice and Guidance offer for learners.

For more information on ESOL at Fircroft College, read here

Further reading

Free English language lessons to be linked to job training

Unlocking Potential: Making Sense of ESOL in the Region (a report)

Media contact

Jennifer Trenery

[email protected]