A recent report has revealed that although children’s...
- Education Professionals
1m pupils speaking English as a second language
The number of schoolchildren speaking English as a second language has topped one million for the first time.
Official figures released by the Department for Education, show that more than 1-in-6 pupils in primary schools now speak other languages in the home following a sharp increase in the last 12 months. In secondary schools, at least 1-in-8 children have a relatively poor grasp of English, it emerged.
The data shows that the number of pupils aged five-upwards speaking other languages has soared by almost 50,000 – or 5% – to a record high of just over a million.
Figures suggest that the proportion of children starting school with English as a second language has now doubled in just over a decade. The rise comes despite fears over cuts to budgets set aside to teach children from immigrant and refugee backgrounds.
Head teachers’ leaders said that schools with small numbers of foreign-born pupils inevitably suffered most as they struggled to buy in specialist support for pupils.
Figures show that in parts of London as many as three-quarters of pupils now speak other languages.