Learning: Language Lessons and Education

1. Language training

Ukrainian adults coming to the UK may well be able to access free English lessons funded by the UK Government. This type of learning provision is called English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and is fully funded for those who are unemployed or are on low income. The Job Centre has been very helpful in offering this language support as part of their remit to help prepare people for work.

We are holding conversation classes for small groups at the Hub on Thursday and Friday mornings. Please email admin@salisburyukrainehub.org.uk for more information. 

Similarly, if you would like to join Ukrainian conversation classes, please email admin@salisburyukrainehub.org.uk for more information.

Wiltshire College offers full time and part time ESOL Speaking & Listening Skills courses. Most of their classes are delivered face-to-face on site at the Salisbury campus, and run on either two mornings a week, or two evenings a week. The courses are currently full (October) but anyone interested in starting a new course should email Tom Evans at Tom.Evans@ewiltshirecollege.ac.uk. You will be invited in for an assessment and then be added to a waiting list for the relevant level course to start in January.

 This link will take you to the relevant application https://www.wiltshire.ac.uk/study/esol-part-time

Most of their classes are delivered face-to-face on site at the Salisbury campus, and run on either two mornings a week from 9.30am – 12.15pm, or two evenings a week from 6pm – 8.45pm. Every class has a 15-minute break in the middle. However, the college does offer some online evening classes that can be studied from home via Microsoft Teams video-conferencing software at levels Entry 3, Level 1 and Level 2 only.

The Initial Assessment sessions for ESOL courses in Salisbury will take place on Thursday 25th August and on Tuesday 30th August. The assessment takes about one hour to complete. Following this, you will then be invited in to enrol for your chosen ESOL course at the start of September 2022. We have been assured that late applicants will still be able to arrange an ESOL assessment throughout September and enrol for their chosen course.

The specific days for each course varies. Once a new applicant has completed an initial interview and assessment with a member of the ESOL teaching staff they will be given a full timetable for their specific course (some of the Wiltshire College ESOL classes may be a mixture of two levels if they do not have enough students studying at one level).

Wiltshire College may be able to offer bursary funds for help with college costs, for example books or travel to college. Bursaries are means tested and applicants will be asked to show evidence of benefits and income to show their eligibility. See  https://www.wiltshire.ac.uk/information/money-matters/bursaries

Full information about the college and the courses on offer, can be found at www.wiltshire.ac.uk.

2. Schools and Childcare

2.1. Early Years

For pre-school age children, there are nurseries, pre-schools and childminders. More details can be found in the Early years and childcare section of the Wiltshire County Council website. Your local nursery may be able to tell you if you can get help with fees.

2.2. Schools

Wiltshire County Council does not offer additional language tuition, believing that children will quickly learn the language if thrown in the deep end. They say:

If your child doesn’t speak much English yet, don’t worry. Although things may seem strange and confusing at first, teachers, pupils and other staff will be welcoming and kind and they will soon begin to learn. One way you can help support your child is by making sure they carry on using their first language because children who are good at one language find it easier to learn another.”

The Council has seemed reluctant to provide advice on criteria for selecting a school (e.g. grammar schools versus non-selective schools). Basic information on every school, including the OFSTED report, is available on the government website, while the individual school websites give varying degrees of information about the school.

However, Wiltshire Council is allocating case workers to Ukrainian families, and they should be a good source of information for those trying to determine which school will be right for children. They should be aware of what each school can offer, and it is worth making contact with them for advice before making a decision, if they haven’t already made contact with you. They can be contacted on H4U@wiltshire.gov.uk.

There is detailed information on how to apply for a school for your child in the Wiltshire County Council welcome pack for Ukrainian refugees:  https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/article/6186/Welcome-pack-for-Ukrainian-families-living-in-Wiltshire-English

If you have any questions about the admissions process in Wiltshire you can call them on 01225 713010 or email admissions@wiltshire.gov.uk.


  • the Wiltshire website is hard to navigate. It is easiest to go to the online Welcome Pack for Ukrainian refugees www.wiltshire.gov.uk/article/6188/Key-advice-for-Ukrainian-Refugees and follow the guidance to find the page you need, or you will waste a lot of time
  • Apparently, local schools will consider your Ukrainian guest as a sibling if they apply to a school where you already have a child. This puts them at the top of the list for a school place
  • Once you have been offered a place at a school, you should be given information on getting funding for the school uniform and free school dinners. Some schools have pre-used uniforms available
  • For the first three years at school, all children get a free meal
  • Other help varies between schools; some will be able to loan laptops and tablets

3. Post 16 Admissions

Post 16 admissions are dealt with directly by schools, sixth form colleges, FE colleges or training providers. For information on choices available at age 16, including a link to all the providers, visit Wiltshire County Council’s Young Work Wiltshire pages.