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Join our campaign to Let Refugees Learn

Refugees who have found safety in the UK want to rebuild their lives and be part of their new communities. Sadly, they have a huge obstacle to restarting their lives, because there aren’t enough English classes.

Join our campaign to Let Refugees Learn, and ensure that refugees get timely access to English classes and the support they need to attend them.

“If I didn’t have this barrier to attending classes, my life would be so different. My English would be better and I would be able to rely on myself.”


Two-thirds of refugees say they don’t receive enough teaching hours

Refugees who have found safety in the UK want to become part of their new community. They know that learning English is the key to finding work, studying, and talking to their neighbours. Being able to speak English helps refugees overcome the loneliness and isolation they often experience.

But all too often, refugees can’t access the English classes they need, due to huge Government funding cuts. Politicians say they want everyone in the UK to be able to speak English. We think it’s time for the Government to turn words into action.

Our report: Turning Words into Action

The Government does recognise the importance of learning English to refugees, but the resources made available are in stark contrast to ministers’ stated ambition that “everyone living in England should be able to speak and understand English.”

This report presents the results of a survey of 128 refugees across England. Almost two thirds of respondents told us that they did not think they had received enough ESOL teaching hours. More than three quarters of parents requiring childcare told us that lack of childcare had been a barrier to their ability to attend English lessons.

Two out of every three respondents told us that they are not confident that their current level of English makes them ready to work in the UK.


Marlene came to the UK from Sudan. Since arriving here, she has struggled with isolation.

Marlene says she has struggled to rebuild her life make friends:
“Sometimes, I go to the park or walk to town. I want to meet people but I can’t communicate with people.”

Marlene wants to learn English, and to eventually find a job. But she has not been able to access the classes that she needs to help her.

“I have lessons once a week in the evening. It is not enough. I am at home all the time, I feel isolated. I feel like I live in a desert – not in a city with people around me.”

Tell your MP the Government must increase funding so all refugees can learn English.