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Government figures reveal the five schools with no native English speakersIn 240 more at least 90 per cent of students have a different first languageCampaigners have warned that the array of languages risks ‘swamping’ teachers
Five primary schools in England don’t have a single pupil whose mother tongue is English.
There are also 240 schools where at least 90 per cent of children grew up learning another language.
Earlier this year, it was claimed that Gladstone Primary School in Peterborough was the only one without a single native English speaker, but four more have been found in figures obtained by Sky News.
Two schools, including Gladstone Primary, each had more than 400 pupils speaking a bewildering 20 languages.
Education experts yesterday said the influx of immigrant children often had a positive influence on British-born pupils because of their strong work ethic. But they warned teachers risked being swamped.
Professor Alan Smithers, an education expert at the University of Buckingham, said: ‘It is a growing phenomenon because of the large scale of immigration, which is putting a great deal of pressure on our school system.’
Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, said: ‘Immigrant children bring a good work ethic to schools. The problem is they will have an impact on children who do speak English as a first language because teachers’ time will be taken up helping them.
‘It can be up to a year before these children speak good English. But the other pupils don’t get that time back.’
The figures, from the Department for Education for the 2012-2013 academic year, showed Gladstone Primary had 441 pupils speaking languages including Punjabi, Urdu, Portuguese, Czech, Polish, and several Russian dialects.
Teachers help pupils learn English by explaining everything they are doing so that children associate objects and actions with words.
Headteacher Christine Parker was not available for comment yesterday but has said: ‘More and more of the world is going bilingual. The culture at our school is not to see bilingualism as a difficulty.’
Peterborough City Council receives an extra £1.5million a year from the Department for Education to cover the cost of teaching children English.
Schools where 90 per cent of children speak English as a second language include nearby Beeches Primary, where 23 languages were spoken by 592 pupils.
Sacred Heart School in Tipton, West Midlands, has 128 pupils, mostly with parents from Pakistan and Bangladesh. Headteacher Melanie Gee said: ‘Within a couple of weeks they are communicating in English.’
Ofsted inspections over the past six years showed one school had been rated ‘outstanding’ and two had maintained ‘good’ ratings in consecutive inspections.
Gladstone went from ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’. Westwood School in Oldham slipped from ‘good’ to ‘satisfactory’ between 2009 and last year, but 83 per cent of pupils reached required levels in English Key Stage 2 tests and 87 per cent in maths.
The figures at Gladstone were 74 per cent and 72 per cent respectively.
A DfE spokesman said: ‘Many schools successfully teach pupils whose first language is not English.’
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