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Community leader blasts language class cuts which hit 500 Dudley borough kids
5:30pm Friday 4th October 2013 in News
A COMMUNITY leader has blasted Dudley funding cuts to foreign language courses for children whose parents do not speak English.
For many years the government has paid for courses in languages such as Urdu, Arabic, Chinese, Gujurati, Hindi and Greek for youngsters wishing to learn or study the mother tongue of their non-English speaking parents.
But new cuts mean Dudley’s schools’ forum can no longer afford to offer the community language classes - which cost around £60,000 a year.
Chairman of Lye Community Centre, Abdul Qadus, believes around 500 youngsters at 13 of the borough’s schools would be affected by the decision but he said those due to take GCSEs in 2014 would be able to continue their studies until the courses end next June.
He added: “A large number of people are absolutely disappointed about this.
“My main concern is that there has been no consultation with parents. These classes have been going for more than 20 years.”
Around 26 part-time teachers are believed to be affected by the cut which will take effect from December 31.
Cllr Tim Crumpton, Dudley cabinet member for children's services, said: “None are full-time workers and this was not their complete source of income.”
He said some affected teachers may be able to start offering courses privately in the community and he suggested communities get together to try and finance the lessons themselves.
He said: “It’s something that’s run its course. The government no longer wants to fund it – there’s no way we can fund it as a local authority. If parents want kids to learn by all means they can, but these courses are extras and schools can no longer afford to fund them.
“It costs around £60,000 a year to run them which equates to about £120 a year per child which is a sum communities may be able to absorb.”
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