08 December 2016, The Tablet

A need for changing cultures


One of the more short-sighted cuts in services under David Cameron was the withdrawal of funding for the teaching of English to adult speakers of other languages. Ironically, the report on social integration that Mr Cameron commissioned from Dame Louise Casey, published this week, identifies lack of English as a key factor leading to the isolation of minority communities, be they Pakistani Muslims or Polish Catholics. Lack of communication skills can prevent individuals participating in British society and promote a narrow unhealthy culture.

Polish leaders in Britain, including Polish priests, are generally aware of the problem, and assistance in providing English language courses would help them solve it. The situation regarding Muslim community leaders is less straightforward. While some of them do emphasise the importance of Muslims participating in British society, others have resisted it.

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