How effective is provision for learners aged 16 to 19 years with language acquisition needs? - July 2009

Summary

In general, teachers and learners feel that support for learners with English language acquisition needs for 16-19 year-olds is good. However, there are not enough qualified staff who can support learners for whom English is an additional or second language. As a result, a vast majority of these learners are failing to keep up with the pace of lessons or training sessions. In addition, there is a lack of national strategy to bring together the organisations working with learners with English language acquisition needs which has led to variation in provision between further education and schools.
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Recommendations

The Welsh Assembly Government should:

  • establish a national strategic lead for learners with English language acquisition needs;
  • develop a strategic plan with clear objectives and priorities for the support of learners who have English language acquisition needs; and
  • appoint a specialist officer for the implementation of these objectives and priorities.

Providers should:

  • improve the skills of front line teachers to support learners with English language acquisition needs; and
  • strengthen the resources to ensure there are sufficient specialist qualified support staff to meet learner needs.

Children and Young People’s Partnerships should:

  • develop a policy for sharing information effectively between key partners;
  • evaluate and improve transition planning for learners with English language acquisition needs; and
  • develop and implement a strategy to ensure that vulnerable learners receive targeted support.

For a full list of recommendations, please download the report.