English a second language for 40 per cent primary schools in London
English a second language for 40 per cent primary schools in London Website
Forty per cent of primary age children in London speak a language other than English as schools in the city are struggling to cover the cost of specialists for thousands of immigration pupils, a teachers association said on Tuesday. The National Association of Head Teachers called for schools to be given the "infrastructure" needed to get such pupils fluent enough in English to cope with the national curriculum as soon as possible. The association warned that the Government's Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant - paid out by the Government to Town Halls (Councils) which then share it among schools according to need - was failing to cover the cost of teachers of English as an Additional Language (EAL). Latest official figures show that the capital's primaries took in more than 1,970,000 children for whom English is not the first language this year, up from just over 1,900,000 last year. Secondary schools' proportion of non-native English speakers rose from 33.5 per cent to 35.3 per cent. Most are in inner London, with three quarters of children in Tower Hamlets primaries not native English speakers. Ofsted research has shown primary schools typically spent their grant on one EAL teacher, backed by a classroom assistant. Ofsted also found that primaries integrating EAL pupils successfully had to find thousands of pounds more than general budgets.