Monday, 12 April 2010

English-speaking pupils now the minority in 1,500 British schools

Children who speak English as their first language are a minority in more than 1,500 schools, official figures have revealed.
They show there has been a sharp rise in the number of schools in England where more than half of pupils have a foreign language as their mother tongue.

The statistics released by the Department for Children, Schools and Families show that in 1997, the year Labour came to power, half the pupils in 866 schools spoke English as a second language.

By last year, this figure had jumped to1,545 - a rise of 78 per cent. It means that more than half the pupils in 1,284 primary schools, 210 secondary schools and 51 special schools across England now come from a non-English speaking background.

Around one in seven - almost 500,000 - primary pupils and just over one in ten, or 364,000, secondary students do not speak English as their first language.

Critics said last night that the figures were another sign of the impact of Labour's open door on immigration and that they risked hampering integration.

They also claimed that the data has serious implications for already-stretched school resources.

The statistics also reveal that the impact of immigration has not been spread evenly across the country. London - often the first point of call for immigrants - has been the hardest hit.

Birmingham has 116 schools where more than 50 per cent of pupils have English as a second language, while in Bradford the figure is 60, in Leicester 34, Manchester 33, Lancashire 30, and Kirklees 30.

Daily Mail

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