English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

ESOL courses are for adults living in the UK who do not speak English as a first language and want to improve their language skills. You will develop your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and have the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification. We offer classes from pre-beginners to Entry 3. All of our classes are held on weekdays from 9:30am – 3:00pm.

Courses start from the 18th September 2017

The courses are free for many students that are unemployed and receiving certain benefits.

Places available from September 2017

Before you can start a course you will need to attend an assessment and interview so that we can put you in the right class. We recommend that you don't bring young children with you as the assessment process can take a long time and we do not have facilities for childcare.

We are holding two Enrolment Days for all our ESOL classes on Monday 11th and Wednesday 13th September from 10:30am – 2:30pm.

For more information, contact us by:

I come to Blackfriars because it's my challenge to learn English

I have wanted this all my life and now I can see my dream is being possible thanks to Blackfriars.

I feel so happy.

Course Fees

To be eligible for Government funding you must be 19 or over on 31 August 2017 and

  • have been ordinarily resident in the UK or another country in the European Economic Area (EEA) for the last 3 years. or
  • have been granted indefinite leave to remain, exceptional leave to remain, right of abode or British Citizenship in the last 3 years. or
  • be the spouse or civil partner of a person covered by one of the statements above and have been both married and resident in the UK for 1 year.

You must bring all relevant documents when you enrol.

Also bring:

  • your UK or EU passport or EU identity card.
  • proof of your address
  • all your ESOL exam certificates

Free courses

There are no course fees if:

  1. …you are currently receiving a Work-Related Activity Group (WRAG) benefit. That is:
    • you are currently unemployed and receiving an income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) or
    • you are currently unemployed and receiving Employment Support Allowance (ESA) or
    • receiving universal credit and are determinded by the JCP as being one of the following categories
      • all work related requirements group
      • work preparation group
      • work focussed interview group
  2. …you are currently unemployed and not receiving JSA or ESA or Universal Credit and receiving certain income-based benefits and can sign a declaration that you need skills training to enter employment. That is:
    • you are receiving Income Support, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit or Universal Credit or
    • you are the partner of someone receiving Working Tax Credit or
    • you or your partner are receiving Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit only) or
    • you are an unwaged dependant (using Job Centre Plus definition) of someone in the previous six bullet points above or
    • you are an asylum seeker receiving income-based benefit/assistance, or their dependant.

You must bring evidence when you enrol: your passport or ID card and a document showing you still receive one of the above allowances (a green sign-on book is not acceptable) or benefits or credits dated within the last 6 months, e.g. a letter from the benefits agency or a bank statement.

There is a £40.00 registration fee unless you have been referred by Job Centre Plus.  This includes the cost of examinations.

Course fees

If you do not qualify for a free course you may still be eligible to pay only half the full fee:

You must bring evidence when you enrol: your passport or ID card and copies of any relevant documents from the Home Office or your marriage/civil partnership certificate.

ESOL E1, E2 & E3 with 10 hours of teaching for 11 weeks £295

We have a small bursary fund available to help some students with their fees.


If we cancel or close a course all fees paid by a student will be refunded.

If you withdraw from a course for a valid reason and this is in the first week of the course the fee will be refunded (including registration fee). There is an administration charge of £5.00 for this.

How to pay

  • by cheque, payable to Blackfriars Settlement
  • by cash

If you need to pay by instalments please ask when you enrol.