Britain's schools lack capacity to deal with 'influx' of migrant children says Ofsted chief inspector of schools

Sir Michael Wilshaw said the need for better resources is a big issue for the Government

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The Independent Online

Schools in the UK need more help from the Government to cope with the “influx” of children from other countries, Ofsted’s chief schools inspector has said.

Sir Michael Wilshaw said a lack of capacity and resources within schools to cope with large numbers of migrant children is “a big issue for the Government”.

Speaking on LBC Radio, Sir Michael said: “Schools need the resources to deal with that.

“When they’re faced with an influx of children from other countries, they need the resources and capacity to deal with it and if those resources aren’t there, that’s a big issue for Government.

“That’s the first thing and we’ll be producing reports on this quite soon.”

His comments come days after Defence Secretary Michael Fallon claimed that British towns felt “swamped” by immigrant workers, with residents feeling “under siege”.

Mr Fallon later apologised for his comments, with a Government source stating that the MP accepted that he “should have chosen his words better” and should have instead said that some communities felt “under pressure”.

The Department for Education stated that it is making “every effort to ensure that local authorities have the resources and flexibility to provide the school places needed by their communities,” adding that where English is not a pupil’s first language, schools can top up their funding accordingly.

A department spokesperson said: “We are giving councils £5billion to spend on new school places over this parliament — double the amount allocated by the previous government over an equivalent period – and a further £2.35billion to create the places needed by September 2017. This has already led to the creation of more than 260,000 new places.

“School funding is allocated based on pupil need, whether that is special educational needs or where English is not a pupil’s first language and should a school grow in a single year, local authorities can and do top up their funding to reflect that.”