Consultation on changes to the delivery of English as an Additional Language Service (EALS) - For Completion by parents, carers, and community stakeholders

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Closes 3 Feb 2019

What is the English as an Additional Language Service (EALS)?

EALS works in schools, providing specialist teachers and Bilingual Support Officers (BSOs) to support pupils who need help with learning English.  They help pupils settle into school when they first arrive and give them additional English language teaching and bilingual support in order that they can access the curriculum.


EAL teachers provide advice and training for schools. The service can also help communication and understanding between home and school, including interpreting at parent meetings and other meetings, translating letters and making phone calls home.  EALS currently supports 240 pupils in 70 primary and secondary schools.

 

What has led to the proposal to cease East Sussex County Council provision of EALS?

Every September, through the Schools' Forum representatives of all maintained schools in East Sussex vote on whether to agree to jointly fund the EAL service to support maintained schools and enable East Sussex County Council (ESCC) to provide this service on their behalf. This provides maintained schools with guaranteed access to support, in the most cost effective way. Making sure support is provided to children with EAL is the responsibility of individual schools, not the Local Authority.

When a school converts to an academy, the funding that is identified for EAL support is kept by the school and they decide how to provide support. Academies then have the option to purchase support from EALS. As more and more schools have converted to academies, East Sussex County Council has had less direct funding due to reduced level of purchase from academies. This has reduced available funding for a central EAL service.

Both maintained primary and secondary schools have agreed to continue to jointly fund EALS until 31st March 2019.

At the Schools’ Forum meeting in September 2018, the secondary maintained schools decided not to continue giving their funding to ESCC from April 2019 onwards. This means a loss of £137,000 to the service. Primary schools did vote to continue with the current funding arrangement of £415,000 for the financial year 2019/20. However, without the funding from secondary schools, ESCC does not have enough money to deliver an EAL service.

The funding available to support pupils with EAL has not reduced, instead of coming to the Local Authority, it will be held by individual schools for them to use on their own pupils. Local schools’ responsibility to support pupils with EAL will not change.

 

 

Schools' Forum

Schools' Forum – a representative group of all schools across East Sussex who make decisions on financial matters relating to schools.