Money is money, however it is obtained.
There have not been community consultations with the ‘migrant’ community or the ‘established resident population’ to ascertain needs and determine appropriate projects using £400K Migration Fund that are to benefit the established resident population.
The funding criteria say: “all projects must demonstrate how they will benefit the established resident community in the first instance”.
The Harrow case for £398,160 fund, argued to benefit the ‘established community’ by teaching English language to unclearly and uncertainly defined small group of people, including children, is somewhat ‘misleading’.
It is not the English language deficiency in a small number of people, mostly children, (mix of “migrants”, “asylum seekers”, “Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children”) that has implications for the quality of life of the ‘established resident population’, but the negative impact on the quality of life is mainly due to the increased anti-social behaviour that includes random flytipping, stabbings and trafficking which the council has failed to address effectively.
Given that ‘migration’ is people movement mainly to improve their lives by finding work, how could children, some “minor”, meet the Migration Fund criteria?
In any case, needs of bilingual learners in English schools are already funded – the minimum funding levels for English as an additional language 2015-16 was: Primary £466 Secondary £1,130.
Also, where a school’s pupil numbers increase, for example due to a new migrant community, the school receives the associated funding for those pupils.
The Department for Education also allocates capital funding to local authorities to provide additional capacity, based on local authorities’ own data on existing school capacity and pupil forecasts. These forecasts take account of patterns of national and international migration.
Our disappointment is that the negative language describing ‘recent arrivals’ in 1980s and controversial premise of acquiring Section 11* money for them in Harrow then (mostly for teaching English language) which did not really benefit them, have been duplicated for obtaining similar funds in 2017, giving a sense of professional incorrectness.
We feel sorry for the decision-making members of the council who were tempted by £400k but not really given an honest brief.
*Section 11 funding
A problematic view of immigrants was legalised by the Local Government Act of 1966, stating a negative definition “immigration is the great social problem of this Century and of the next” – p1308 of Hansard: 1966/67: Volume 29.
In response, Section 11 of the Local Government Act of 1966 provided funding to the authorities to ‘help meet the special needs of a significant number of people of commonwealth origin with language or customs which differ from the rest of the community’. This funding was vastly obtained to integrate and teach English language to bilingual learners but was mostly used for all sorts of things and was eventually discredited. Read more …