Note of the ESOL Funding Principles Working Party
14 January 2009
Attendees: Elaine Proudfoot (Langside College)
Mary Rhind (Highland Adult Literacy Partnership)
Jayne Stuart (Learning Link Scotland)
Morag Campbell (SFC)
Nicola Lynch (SFC)
1 Minutes of the previous meeting
The minutes of the working party’s last meeting, on 8 September 2008, were
discussed and agreed with some minor clarifications relating to paragraph 8.
2 Revised guidance on the working group’s task
At a meeting with the Scottish Government on 2 December 2008, primarily
to discuss support in information gathering, there had been a discussion
about the Terms of Reference of this working group. As a result
clarification had been sought on what the group is to deliver. This had now
Guidance document to contain:
Funding sources available to providers
Funding sources available to learners;
Comparative costs benchmarked per sector -college, community and
workplace;- like for like examples
Considering how to increase supply to meet demand.
1. – recommendation on who might be asked to contribute to the cost of
ESOL learning e.g. employed people, employers?
2. – collaboration and partnership working to maximise funding
The group agreed that the issue of how to increase supply to meet demand
would more appropriately be dealt with by the National Panel than a small
working party. This had been raised with (and was subsequently agreed by)
the Chair of the National Panel.
For comparative costs benchmarked per sector, the group agreed that it
would be appropriate to benchmark costs within sectors. The potential to
use Moray as a case study was suggested, where there is pooled funding for
college and community ESOL.
Costs would be looked at in the context of a minimum viable size of class,
although different models were expected to emerge, such as one to one
learning in some places rather than classes for groups of learners. The costs
associated with provision by volunteers also need to be considered.
The group recognised that one of the major cost drivers was the
qualifications of ESOL teachers. DipTESOL qualified teachers are paid
more, and there is some assurance of quality. However, there is not a
standard pay structure across colleges so costs are expected to vary
considerably. The group agreed that it was important to determine the real
cost of delivery as opposed to focussing on funding practice or current
Morag to draft a framework for case study models. Between two and four
cases per centre, ideally, identifying core costs and how they vary depending
on the size and length of the course and the types of learners.
Elaine and Mary agreed to gather information for their own organisations,
and to contact others in their sectors for comparative case studies.
3 Amendments to the draft survey
Jackie Borge had produced a draft survey for distribution to colleges and
community partnerships on current funding of ESOL. The group discussed
the draft questions and amendments need to increase the likelihood of
consistent interpretation of their wording and of collecting the information
Action: Morag to finalise the questionnaire with Jackie Borge and confirm
when this can be distributed.
4 Structure of the guidance document
Morag provided draft text on student support funding and fee funding in
the college sector. The group discussed potential structures for the guidance
document, incorporating support to providers and both college and
community sectors. Results from the survey would provide additional
information on the range of sources currently available in each sector.