REFUGEE families relocated from Syria to the western Gwent region are set to benefit from English language tuition at home.

The ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) service will work with all current and future families resettled in Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly, with the provider due to be decided this week.

Torfaen council, acting as the commissioning authority, previously invited companies to bid for the contract across the three areas.

A council report estimates that an initial 12-month contract, with the option to extend for a further year based on performance, will cost up to £200,000.

But the Home Office would fully fund the programme through a grant from its Syrian Resettlement Programme (SRP).

Authorities across Wales and the UK which have volunteered to take part in the SRP are required to provide all refugees above the age of 19 with access to free ESOL provision.

Lyndon Puddy, head of Torfaen’s public services support unit, says in a report: “Home tuition … allows for a flexible and tailored approach to learning English language, removing all barriers such as lack of childcare, low confidence and low literacy, for learners.

“English language is an essential tool for integration and community cohesion, it helps people to participate independently in our society, to contribute to the local economy and to play an active role in local communities, all of which underpin and support current local authority policies.”

A total of 10 suppliers expressed interest in the contract, resulting in three official bids which will be considered this week.

The council report seeks approval for the “most economically advantageous” tender, with a decision expected to be made on Thursday.

The successful bidder will provide families with four hours of home ESOL provision per week when the service starts in March or April this year.