English not the first language in 240 schools - with five primary schools having no native-speakers at all - Education News - Education - The Independent

English not the first language in 240 schools - with five primary schools having no native-speakers at all

Number of children without English as their mother tongue hits 1.1 million - a rise of 54,000 in the last year

There are 240 schools in England where over 90 per cent of pupils do not speak English as a first language, with five primary schools having absolutely no first language English speakers at all.

The numbers – revealed in Department of Education census figures obtained by Sky News – puts the total number of children without English as their mother tongue at 1.1 million, a rise of 54,000 in the last year.

According to the latest figures, that number marks a rise of 228,000 pupils since 2008 – with roughly double the number of pupils now starting school with English as a second language as there were in the late 1990s.

Head teachers have come forward to say that in many cases, pupils speaking English as a second language go on to outperform native speakers thanks to the stronger work ethic required to achieve results in a less-familiar tongue.

They also suggest that students from a “foreign” background help to broaden the horizons of British-born pupils and help boost a school’s cultural outlook.

But critics insist in can be incredibly disruptive for schools to take on large numbers of pupils without English as their first language, leading to discordant classrooms and lessons hampered by ineffectual teacher-pupil communication.

The five primary schools where 100 per cent of pupils did not speak English as a first language included Sacred Heart in Tipton, Westwood Primary in Oldham, Gladstone Primary in Peterborough and Brookhouse Primary in Blackburn.

Among the most popular first languages spoken in these schools were Punjabi, Russian, Portuguese, Urdu, Czech, Polish and various African dialects.

As part of its research, Sky News visited Sacred Heart Primary School where the vast majority of pupils have parents from Pakistan or Bangladesh.

Melanie Gee, the head teacher of the school - which recently won a regional award for inclusivity and education standards, told researchers: “Our school is really no different to any other. We have a curriculum and all the lessons are taught in English.”

She added: “We have got bilingual staff. Children in the very early days will probably communicate to the staff in nursery in their home language, but within a couple of weeks we find that they are communicating in English.

Ms Gee went on to say: “The majority of our bilingual staff, if we use them, are actually to communicate more with the parents rather than with the children.”

News
Residents of James Turner Street such as White Dee will have a chance to share their experiences of benefits on a Channel 4 spin-off show
peopleBenefits Street star says mixed-race children were subjected to trolling
Sport
Angel Di Maria
Football
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
film
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
News
newsIn short, yes
Extras
indybest
News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
Life and Style
Jourdan Dunn gave TopShop’s Unique show some added glamour at London Fashion Week
fashion week
News
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

English Teacher

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Experience...

Higher Level Teaching Assistants in Bradford and West Leeds

£65 - £75 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We are currently seeking Higher L...

EYP

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Job opportunity for an Early years ...

Bursar/Business Manager

£70 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Experienced bursar or business...

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories