Children Speaking English In Minority In 1500 Schools

Children speaking English in minority in 1,500 schools
Children with English as their home language are among the minority of pupils in more than 1,500 schools across England.

The Telegraph (U.K.), April 12, 2010

The impact of immigration since 1997 has been disclosed by official figures which show a sharp rise in the number of schools where more than half the students have a foreign language as their mother tongue.

Statistics released by the Department for Children, Schools and Families show that in 1997, when Labour came to power, there were 866 schools in England where more than 50% of pupils had English as a second language.

By 2009 this figure had climbed to 1,545 schools, a rise of 78 per cent.

It means that on the latest figures there are 1,284 primary schools, 210 secondary schools and 51 special schools where more than half the pupils come from a non-English speaking background.

Around one in seven youngsters in primary schools almost 500,000 – do not have English as their first language. In Secondary Schools the figure stands at 364,000, just over one in ten.

Critics say the high proportions are another sign of the impact Labour's open door on immigration and risks hampering integration. It also has serious implications for already-stretched schools resources.

Across England the number of schools having to accommodate more than 50% of pupils who have English as a second language has risen by 679, but the increase has not been evenly spread across the country.

Figures show that London, frequently the arrival point for immigrants into the country, has been the hardest hit.

Birmingham has 116 schools where more than 50% of pupils have English as a second language. In Bradford the figure is 60 and in Leicester, 34.