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From September 2011 the government plans to cut ESOL funding whilst imposing restrictions on eligibility for public funding, including full fee remission, for ESOL classes. A number of specific changes are planned. These include:

* Limiting public funding to people from ‘settled communities’;
* Limiting full fee remission to people claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA) or the new Employment Support Allowance (ESA);
* Removing full fee remission from people on a range of other benefits, including Working Tax Credits, Housing Benefit, Income Support, Council Tax and Pension Credits;
* Reducing the ‘programme weighting factor’ (PWF) from 1.2 to 1. PWF is a funding multiplier used to reflect the real costs of provision;
* Ending funding for ESOL in the workplace.

In addition, it is expected that the £4.5 million ESOL Learner Support Fund (LSF), which helps some students, including women without independent means and low-waged workers, with course fees, will not be allocated in 2011. These specific changes are on top of the sector-wide funding cuts which also affect ESOL provision.

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