Nottingham College ESOL and BEGIN Project

President's award


President's Award

Nottingham College leads a transformative partnership with local stakeholders to deliver a truly holistic, multi-agency ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) service across the city and communities it serves.

“Our provision brings together Nottingham College, voluntary organisations and providers to create a ‘one-stop-shop’ for potential ESOL learners. We host and fund a central ESOL referral service (‘BEGIN’) which was founded in 1982 and was the first of its kind in the UK for many years. It operates independently, reduces duplication of referrals and support across the city, and ensures that limited funds are maximised by front-line services, directly benefiting learners.

“This truly unbiased brokerage model has overcome competition between neighbouring providers and organisations to reach 3,600 ESOL learners and reduce local waiting lists significantly. Learners who access BEGIN have a guaranteed offer of a place on an accredited ESOL course at Nottingham College or through one of our community partners, with support to progress onto accredited learning or volunteer placements.

“Nottingham College’s offer includes our innovative and unique 10-week ESOL Plus programme, which delivers core vocational skills and contextualised language, co-designed with employers and linked to live vacancies within our local economy.

“The vast majority of learners complete and achieve their programme. Many progress to other learning or vocational training and some are in paid employment, reflecting our commitment to drive in-work progression for disadvantaged learners.”

Diana Kassim, a former ESOL student at Nottingham College, originally from Yemen, said: “Nottingham College was the place where I first realised the extent of my significance. I can, I will, and I’m free to pursue whatever I desire.”