Through its work supporting resettled refugees SESPM partnered with Learning and Work Institute (L&W) to create several resources assisting local authorities and voluntary organisations to provide ESOL to migrant learners. In particular, previous events have focused on the following priority areas:

Identifying ESOL provision in your area

An interactive map has also been created to help identify local ESOL providers in your area.

Commissioning ESOL

SESPM commissioned to create a ‘how to guide’ on delivering ESOL and a helpdesk ( to provide information and offer support with commissioning of new ESOL provision. 

Pre-entry ESOL

A key challenge facing ESOL practitioners is how to provide language training to those who speak no or very little English, especially to those who may not be literate in their own language. These learners are classified as ‘pre-entry’ level within the UK education system.  Consequently, SESPM commissioned  to create a pre-entry ESOL guide focusing exclusively on this issue, containing advice such as how to undertake initial assessment and overcome barriers to progression as well as useful resources. To demonstrate how best to use this guide, and also to enable ESOL practitioners to come together, SESPM and L&W held an event on the 12th October 2018 hosted by Surrey County Council.  Case study presentations were given from the Isle of Wight and Oxford City Council demonstrating how they have addressed the challenge of pre-entry ESOL levels including on how to effectively teach English to learners with basic literacy skills from Learning Unlimited.  The learning from the day will contribute to our ongoing engagement with government departments on Refugee Resettlement and Integration

ESOL for young learners (16-19)

SESPM’s event on the 20th November 2019 focused on young ESOL learners aged 16-19. Topics covered on the day include: supporting young people to access suitable ESOL provision (with a presentation from Pathways to Independence), accessing suitable provision including work experience, (with presentation from Philips), examples of good practice from colleges (with presentations from East Surrey CollegeJohn Ruskin College and Milton Keynes College). The final report from the day can be accessed here. L&Ws slides from the day including key resources for learners in this cohort can be accessed here. A co-created list of advice for working with this cohort can be found here. The event proved very popular with 94% of respondents saying they felt the day had fully met its aims.

Toolkit for Refugees

SESPM and L&W also collaborated with Migration Yorkshire on an event aimed to feed into the creation of a toolkit for commissioning ESOL for refugees. The day saw presentations from NATECLA, Migration Yorkshire, Greater Brighton Metropolitan College, Cherwell District College, Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN), Southampton City Council, Virtual Schools Kent and Oxford City Council. The event was very well received with 96% of attendants saying that the day had fully achieved its aims and that the topics covered on the day would help with their future work. Several respondents stated their intentions to create local ESOL hubs as a result of the presentations and networking on the day. Presentations from the day can be accessed here. The final Migration Yorkshire toolkit containing a raft of resources can be found here. The toolkit offers useful guidance and highlights current effective practice in ESOL. It’s illustrated by nearly 50 case studies from across England. There’s also an accompanying literature review which informed the best practice the toolkit was based on.

Due to the challenges presented by Covid-19 L&W and SESPM held a webinar on delivering ESOL online.  The day saw presentations from Oxford City College, Refugees Welcome Crawley, Canterbury Welcomes Refugees.  Over 70 people joined the webinar which received very positive feedback. Presentations from the day can be found here.

Online resources

The following links from the UKRS ESOL Coordinator Network provide information on where you can access good quality online ESOL  provision. These resources from Manchester ESOL Advice Service are organised according to ESOL level, pre-entryEntry 1Entry 2Entry 3Level 1Level 2.

Learning and Work institute in collaboration with Learning Unlimited have released a number of new resources to help those providing ESOL to migrants. This includes advice to volunteers and people coordinating the provision of ESOL in informal environments, such as conservation clubs. These resources can be accessed here.

Download ESOL Provision Information