English for BN(O)s

Local Authority – English Classes Funding

Arrivals on the Hong Kong BN(O) visa scheme are eligible to receive up to £850 of English language courses in 2023/24 and 2024/25. The process to access these language courses (English for Speakers of Other Languages or ‘ESOL’) is as follows:

  1. The HK BN(O) visa holder contacts the local authority to find out how to apply.
  2. The local authority informs the HK BN(O) visa holder which ESOL providers and which courses they can access.
  3. The HK BN(O) visa holder provides proof of their visa status to the local authority (e.g. share code).
  4. The HK BN(O) visa holder attends the course for free (the learning provider should never charge the HK BN(O) holder for this tuition). 
  5. The local authority claim back the funding.

For further information, contact the NE BN(O) Welcome Hub at nemp@middlesbrough.gov.uk.

Adult Education Budget (AEB) Funding

What is the Adult Education Budget?

The Adult Education Budget is a fund that has been set up by the government to help support the delivery of education and training to people aged 19 and over.

Can BN(O)s access English language classes funded through AEB?

BN(O) status holders and their family members aged 19 and over can access further education training, including English language courses funded through the Adult Education Budget, once they meet the published residency criteria, including the 3 years ordinary residency requirement.

What is the residency criteria for those on the BN(O) scheme?

UK nationals or other person with a right of abode have an eligible residency status if they have been ordinarily resident in the UK, Republic of Ireland, or the British Overseas Territories, or the Crown Dependencies (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) for at least the previous 3 years on the first day of learning. All family members of UK nationals must meet the required residency eligibility criteria in their own right.

Further information on the Adult Education Budget can be found below.

ESOL Providers

Local colleges provide ESOL; if you are able to self-fund, there are a number of opportunities to access an ESOL course with a local college, such as:

There are two additional language and skills academies in the North East region. The NE BN(O) Welcome Hub is currently part-funding BN(O) status holders to take a variety of English classes of their choice (Business English, General English, IELTS exam preparation etc.) as well as the opportunity to become an English language teacher through CELTA training. Classes will be provided by the academies below.

For more information, or to register your interest in a class, please contact nemp@middlesbrough.gov.uk.

VCSE Organisations – ESOL Providers

Some VCS organisations provide ESOL/ English language classes to Hong Kong BN(O) status holders. VCS organisations also have informal language classes, such as ‘conversation classes,’ which are open to asylum seekers and refugees.

  • Jobs, Education and Training (JET) – 0191 273 5761
  • Investing in People and Culture (IPC) – 07411157589