New agreement will see language support continue

Hugh Hennebry

Schools across East Sussex will continue to receive support for children whose first language is not English.

Following a decision by maintained secondary schools not to pool funding for the English as an Additional Language Service (EALS), a consultation was launched into the closure of the East Sussex County Council-run service.

During the period of consultation the secondary headteachers reviewed their decision and have agreed to pool funding for the next financial year. They have also agreed to work with primary schools and academies to consider alternatives options for the delivery of the service.

Hugh Hennebry, Chair of Schools Forum and a representative of East Sussex maintained secondary schools said, “We are pleased to have reached this agreement to support the service for these vulnerable pupils for another year, and welcome the opportunity to look at new ways for schools to use the resources provided by the DfE to agree a more sustainable delivery model.”

Schools have a duty to provide support for children for whom English is a second language. As school budgets have been relentlessly squeezed there is pressure on the money needed to pool resources to fund EALS, which is run by the county council.

There is an on-line parliamentary petition should people wish to urge the government to increase funding for schools.

There are currently about 65,500 signatories and if it reaches 100,000 there will be a debate in Westminster: