South West College spends £570K on English lessons

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South West College has spent £570,000 on extra English lesson for foreign national pupils in the past year, it has been revealed.

The additional classes were provided for 570 pupils at its campuses, according to the latest figures released by the Department of Education.

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of ‘newcomer pupils’ in Dungannon’s schools and colleges.

Newcomer children are pupils who do not have the necessary language skills to participate fully in the school curriculum and do not have a language in common with their teacher.

In fact, English is no longer the first language for the majority of pupils at three Dungannon educational establishments.

In the field of post-primary education, one Dungannon secondary school had the joint highest percentage of newcomer pupils in the North at 30%.In total, 875 pupils attending school in the town are registered as having English as their second language.

According to the Department of Education, FE colleges can charge students a fee for ESOL provision, depending on the level and duration of the course. “Colleges are funded by the Department to deliver ESOL provision in recognition of the benefits that ESOL provision brings to individuals, the economy and society”, said a spokesperson.