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Bright Blue calls for the Government to launch a new national mission to ensure everyone can read, write and speak English.

Government should make it a requirement for all immigrants – if they want to receive any benefits – to prove that they can speak English by having an approved qualification, or at least be working towards one.

In response to the Casey Review, Ryan Shorthouse, Director of Bright Blue, commented:

“The Casey Review is right: we need to do much more to ensure people from different social and ethnic backgrounds are mixing – in schools, the workplace and in neighborhoods. Such integration is not only vital for individuals – building their networks and improving their life chances – but for society generally, improving understanding and trust.

“To be truly integrated in our country, people need to be able to understand and speak English. Having competence in English language is the passport to being economically and socially active in Britain.

“That’s why the Government now needs to be bold and launch a national mission to ensure everyone in this country can read, write and speak English, at least to a basic level, by the end of this parliament.

“To achieve this ambitious mission, the Government should make it a requirement for all immigrants – if they want to receive any benefits – to prove that they can speak English by having an approved qualification, or at least be working towards one. And no child should leave school until they meet the expected minimum grade in GCSE English, even if it means retaking in future years.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For further media enquiries, please contact our Communications Manager of Bright Blue, Laura Round, on laura@brightblue.org.uk or 07543759844.