Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Get Ready for Action Day 2007

Action Day joins up with the campaign to Save ESOL on Wednesday 28th February!

Action Day joins up with the Campaign to Save ESOL on Wednesday 28th February!

Yes, STAR Action Day has changed! To show our support for the save ESOL campaign, to highlight its significance and to coincide with a national day of action against cuts to ESOL, STAR will be holding Action Day on Wednesday 28th February. STAR is joining the campaign to represent your views.

What is Action Day?

STAR Action Day is a UK wide day of activities enabling the entire STAR network to come together and be part of something big! Through a combined effort we can make a big impact and change the opinion of students and young people about refugees and asylum seekers for the better.

Why get involved?

For STAR groups, Action Day is a great opportunity for STAR to raise your profile on campus, recruit new members, make contact with other STAR groups and generate new contacts within your union. All groups participating in Action Day receive an Action Day resource pack as well as direct support, advice and the opportunity for visits from National Office staff and Regional Reps.

Campaigning Against Cuts to ESOL on 28th February

STAR is working as part of a coalition on this campaign. We are working with the campaign leaders to identify where STAR members can make a big impact. As soon as we know, you will know.

Get Informed!

  • Find out what’s going on in your area. Is your local college part of the campaign? Are the refugee groups you work with aware of the campaign and involved? There may be demos and activities organised in your area. Find out! Linking up with local ESOL providers, refugee groups and local colleges is the best way to ensure success in this campaign.
  • Hold a STAR meeting about the planned cuts to ESOL. STAR has produced an outline meeting to lead you in a discussion about the issues and to enable you to come out of the meeting feeling informed and ready to campaign on this issue. Download the outline meeting notes from the resources page}uni_groups/index/resources (you must be logged in to access the downloadable resources).

What you can do on Action Day:

  • Check that your MP has signed EDM (Early Day Motion) 383, drawing attention to the ESOL cuts.
  • Come along to the mass lobby of MPs in Parliament, organised by UCU.
  • Featuring mock ESOL classes get involved as a ‘teacher’ or a ‘student’ in the demo outside Parliament.
  • Get involved with events planned in Nottingham, Newcastle, Bradford, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, etc. Find out what’s happening in your area.
  • Hold your own awareness raising event.

For more details on events, plans and resources, visit UCU, or contact Natasha}about/contact/contact_details at STAR.

About The Campaign To Save ESOL

  • ESOL classes or English for Speakers of Other Languages are currently provided free of charge for asylum seekers, refugees and migrants at Further Education (FE) colleges in the UK .
  • The Learning and Skills Council (LSC), who fund the FE sector, recently announced an end to free FE and English language courses (ESOL) for asylum seekers who are over the age of 19. The change will take effect from August 2007 (The Children’s Society, 2006).
  • This means that asylum seekers will not be able to receive free ESOL.
  • It also means that newly arrived migrants will not be able to receive free ESOL
  • From August 2007 if either of these groups want to undergo ESOL classes they will have to pay for it.
  • However, asylum seekers under 19 years of age (including separated asylum seeking children) will continue to be entitled to free ESOL, as will the unemployed or those receiving benefits.

On 17th January a campaign against the cuts to ESOL was launched. Led by the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) the campaign is supported by the Refugee Council, the Children’s Society, Unison, STAR and many more, as well as hundreds of FE colleges and intuitions. The planned cuts to ESOL provision will have disastrous effects for asylum seekers across the country if they are implemented. This campaign could have a huge effect on a massive national issue!

Download the STAR Briefing on cuts to ESOL from the resources page}uni_groups/index/resources (you must be logged in to access the downloadable resources).

Links

More information about the campaign to save ESOL and about the effects these cuts will have on asylum seekers and migrants.

Refugee Council Briefing paper on English for Speakers of Other Languages’ and Further Education Funding Changes 2007/08 announced by the Learning and Skills Council [January 07]

Children’s Society Briefing:”‘Speechless’ A Briefing on The Removal of Young People and Families’ Entitlement to English Language Classes and Further Education.”:http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/NR/rdonlyres/82D771FE-AAF5-44C7-90E5-85F2EAC8AD2E/0/Speechless.pdf

More information from UCU about the campaign to save ESOL.

Posted by STAR team on 14/02/2007 at 01:59 PM