Increased resources for ESOL in schools

More children and young people who migrate to New Zealand will benefit from specialised support to learn English, thanks to a $13.2 million increase in funding announced by Associate Education Minister Jenny Salesa.

Being able to communicate effectively in English is vital for students’ sense of wellbeing and belonging, as well as for their success in education. 

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provision in schools also includes encouraging and nurturing students’ first languages – this supports them to succeed in English.

In New Zealand, studies show that migrant students who receive our ESOL support achieve NCEA Level 2 to the same extent as students who are native speakers of English.

Today’s announcement of an additional $13.2 million in new funding follows the extra $34.5 million allocated for ESOL in Budget 2018, bringing the total increase to $47.7 million.  The $13.2 million increases annual funding progressively over 5 years from 2018/19. These increases will help us meet our projected increases in demand for ESOL support in primary and secondary schools.

We currently support around 49,000 school pupils from 162 different ethnic groups with our high-quality ESOL programmes. This is expected to increase to 62,000 learners by 2023.

Students from refugee and migrant backgrounds who speak a language other than English in the home are eligible for ESOL funding, if their English proficiency is below the benchmark for their year level.  New Zealand-born students of migrant parents are eligible for up to three years’ support, and overseas-born migrants for up to five years.

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback